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DHS inspector general refuses to investigate Border Patrol agents whom media accused of whipping migrants
PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

DHS inspector general refuses to investigate Border Patrol agents whom media accused of whipping migrants

Do you remember "whipgate," the story of mounted Border Patrol agents whom the mainstream media and Biden administration accused of using whips against Haitian migrants encamped under the Del Rio International Bridge?

The Department of Homeland Security released an update Tuesday on the probe into the matter, revealing the DHS inspector general actually declined to investigate the incident.

What is the background?

Two months ago, as thousands of Haitian migrants streamed across the Rio Grande and illegally entered the U.S., mounted Border Patrol agents were accused of whipping migrants.

The outrage was instantaneous. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), for example, said it was worse than slavery. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised a swift investigation, placing on administrative leave the Border Patrol agents who were accused of committing the dastardly deed. President Joe Biden even promised the allegedly guilty agents "will pay."

Outrage continued despite the fact that journalists who witnessed the incident — including the photographer who snapped the infamous photographs — disputed the allegation that Border Patrol agents harmed the migrants.

What is the DHS saying now?

The DHS revealed Tuesday that its agency watchdog, the office of inspector general, has not and will not investigate the incident, a telling admission. Instead, the agency's office of personal responsibility is handling the investigation.

The DHS explained:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initially referred the investigation to DHS's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG declined to investigate and referred the matter back to CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). OPR then immediately commenced investigative work, including its review of videos and photographs and the interview of witnesses, employees, and CBP leadership. OPR has followed customary process in its investigation of this matter.

Once completed, the results of the investigation will be provided to CBP management to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate and, if so, the specific discipline to be imposed. At that time, the employees will be afforded due process, including an opportunity to respond, and any corrective actions will comport with applicable laws and regulations.

Despite the promise of due process, DHS spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa said the Border Patrol agents involved in the incident remain on administrative duty, CNN reported.

Anything else?

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) grilled Mayorkas about the whipping lie during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

"Why on Earth did you not defend them?" Lee asked. "Has no one in your entire department ever become aware of how one uses split reins when riding a horse?"

In response, Mayorkas claimed he "stand[s] with" Border Patrol agents. Lee, however, was not buying it.

"Did you defend them when they were being attacked for whipping people, which they were not?" Lee shot back.

Still, Mayorkas continued to deflect, and said that only an investigation would draw conclusions about what happened at the border with the Haitian migrants.

"Your response and your failure to defend [Border Patrol agents] then, and now, is nothing short of morale crushing," Lee chided. "If you want to maintain, or obtain, operational control of the border, which you do not now have, this is not a way to get there."

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