The partial government shutdown, which entered its 32nd day on Tuesday, is hampering investigations into sex crimes against children and presenting other threats to national security, according to FBI agents.
The lapse in funding for the Federal Bureau of Investigation has delayed interviews of child victims and stalled grand jury indictments for child sexual assault prosecutions, according to a 72-page report published on Tuesday by an association representing thousands of current and former FBI agents.
The report includes dozens of accounts provided by agents around the country to the FBI Agents Association. The report also details harm to operations involving drug and gang crime, counterterrorism work and other matters of national security.
The agents are quoted in the report but are not named. The accounts detail weakening morale as paychecks have failed to arrive and investigations have been put on hold. The association said that while agents remain at work despite not being paid, the "situation is not sustainable."
The new report follows a Jan. 10 petition from the association which said that pay uncertainty threatened agents' ability to secure or renew security clearances, and undermined the agency's ability to recruit new employees. In the document released Tuesday, the association paints a more dire picture of the shutdown's effects.
"FBI offices … are having investigations stalled, to include delayed forensic interviews of child victims and delaying grand jury indictments on homicides and child sexual assault prosecutions," one agent said, according to the report. "Our child victims deserve timely interviews to increase successful preservation of their testimony."