While FBI agents remain on the job during the government shutdown, a new report said the shutdown is hurting their ability to make cases.
The 850 agents, analysts and support staff who work at the Chicago office still on the job but they will miss their second pay check this week.
The 72-page report from the FBI Agents Association detailed the difficulties agents across the country are having as a result of the shutdown. The report did not use agent names.
“This is not about politics for special agents. For special agents, financial security is national security,” Tom O’Connor of the FBI Agents Association said.
In counter-intelligence and counter terrorism cases, an agent out West wrote there’s no money to pay sources.
“We have lost several sources who have worked for months, and years, to penetrate groups and target subjects. These assets cannot be replaced.… Serving my country has always been a privilege, but it has never been so hard or thankless.”
In Chicago and elsewhere non-essential travel, training and coordination with other law enforcement agencies has been suspended.
“No one can work without paycheck,” O’Connor said. “You can’t sustain. The government can’t sustain and we can’t sustain.”
The bigger impact may come Friday when the federal court system for northern Illinois is expected to run out of money. No new civil cases will be heard.
The chief judge has already delayed more than 1,000 other civil cases involving social security, the Environmental Protection Agency and other government entities.
After Friday, criminal jury trials will continue, but jurors won’t be paid.
An FBI Chicago spokesperson said, "Despite the hardships caused by the shutdown, agents remain focused on fulfilling public safety and national security missions.”