A former deputy assistant attorney general used his government-provided computer to view sexually explicit images and lied to department investigators, according to a summary released August 29 by the Department of Justice’s (DoJ’s) inspector general.
The report does not identify the official, the division, or the time frame that they worked for the department. The case reached the inspector general after the official had been seen viewing pornographic images by someone in their division, against department policy.
A forensic investigation found “numerous sexually explicit website searches, visits to websites hosting sexually explicit videos, sexually explicit search engine terms, and sexually explicit images,” the inspector general notes.
During the initial phase of the investigation, the deputy assistant attorney general denied the accusations, but when confronted with the evidence, they admitted that they “may have intentionally accessed” pornographic images on their work computer, and resigned before the investigation concluded.
This is not the first time an agency has busted an employee for inappropriate browsing on government computers. The Department of Interior chastised an employee in a 2018 report, citing cybersecurity as a threat from these types of browsing habits.