The FBI was confronted with a major arrest this week, adding to the list of scandals the bureau has been forced to justify to the public. While the FBI was busy looking into some of the former director James Comey’s questionable choices, it appears that another crime was covered up.
According to recent reports, an FBI agent has just been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements in a shooting incident. He is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Agent W. Joseph Astarita, a 40-year-old Hostage Rescue Team member, is accused of lying to cover up his role in the shooting of militia leader Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum in Oregon last year. Astarita allegedly fired twice on Finicum, who was shot to death in the courses of an attempted arrest. Astarita’s shots missed the victim, but two state police officers shot and killed him just moments later.
“Finicum is seen getting out of the truck and walking through the snow with his hands up in surrender. He then makes a move to reach into his jacket, where the FBI said he was carrying a gun. At that point, one of the authorities walks up out of the woods and shoots Finicum dead from behind,” Daily Mail reports. “The state police officers were deemed justified in shooting Finicum, a verdict which remains unchanged by Astarita’s indictment, according to Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.”
Astarita’s actions are particularly concerning because they indicate he did something he felt necessary to cover up.