The FBI confirmed that agents involved in the investigation into presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's email scandal had to sign gag orders related to the case.
FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, who also serves as the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, and requested information related to the level of secrecy that the FBI agents involved were bound to, reported Fox News.
The non-disclosure agreements said that information in the case was “strictly prohibited” and agents were subject to lie detector tests.
"The purpose of this form is to maintain an official record of persons knowledgeable of a highly sensitive Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation," the agreement attached to the Grassley letter said, according to Fox News. "....I (FBI agent) also understand that, due to the nature and sensitivity of this investigation, compliance with these restrictions may be subject to verification by polygraph examination."
In Comey's letter to Grassley, the FBI Director said, “This was not a unique circumstance.”
He further explained:
Depending on the sensitivities in a given investigation, FBI employees may from time to time be asked to sign similar forms. In addition, all FBI employees sign standard form non-disclosure agreements (NDA) upon obtaining their security briefings, and they remain bound by those agreements throughout the course of their employment. The standard form NDA includes the requisite language to address all legal requirements, including whistleblower protections. The FBI is taking steps to ensure that future reminders to employees of non-disclosure obligations similarly contain language acknowledging whistleblower protections.
Although Comey said the agreement was standard procedure, one retired FBI chief it sounded "very, very unusual" to him.
"I’ve never signed one, never circulated one to others,” the chief said.