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House Democrats Discredit Whistleblowers, Shafting Themselves
Democrats think it’s impossible for government employees to stand up for truth and justice. If they try to speak out against the powers-that-be, they must be lying; no one would willingly put their jobs on the line. Except that at least three whistleblowers stood before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government Committee and did just that—and have paid the price. At least so far. I’d like to share the most credible parts of the whistleblowers’ testimonies, and the most absurd accusations of the House Democrats.
Rep. Jim Jordan, who leads the committee, demanded in a 1,000-page report that the FBI respond to allegations:
Americans deserve to have confidence that the enormous power and reach of federal law enforcement will be used fairly and free of any indication of politicization. The FBI has the power, quite literally, to ruin a person’s life — to invade their residence, to take their property, and even to deprive them of their liberty,’ the report says.
‘The potential abuse of this power, or even the appearance of abuse, erodes the fundamental principle of equality under the law and confidence in the rule of law. The FBI’s tremendous power is precisely why the people’s elected representatives in Congress must conduct vigorous oversight, particularly in light of allegations of abuse and misconduct made to date.’
The primary response that the FBI has made is to punish the whistleblowers: FBI special agent Garret O’Boyle; former FBI special agent Steve Friend; and suspended FBI Staff Operations Specialist Marcus Allen. The lawyer of O’Boyle and Friend, Tristan Leavitt, was also present at the hearing, and I’ll explain how he later discredited the Democratic attacks. Not present was Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who represented Allen.
O’Boyle was suspended for refusing to serve a federal grand jury subpoena related to January 6 based on an anonymous tip, because there was no predicate to do so. This type of assignment happened several times, and the FBI ended up labeling him a subpar agent. Then they insisted that he relocate, and when he arrived at his new home, the FBI locked up all his and his family’s belongings for at least a week, including their clothes. After relocating, the FBI suspended him.
In making his complaints, Steve Friend followed FBI protocol to three levels of supervisors. Rep. Greg Steube clarified the FBI’s response to Friend’s actions:
The response to that was losing your security clearance, shutting you out, losing your job, and taking away your pay.
Friend confirmed this assessment. Friend had also objected to other assignments:
Friend, a former FBI agent working out of Florida, had his security clearance suspended in September 2022 for objecting to using a SWAT team to arrest a subject whom the FBI said was at the Capitol illegally on January 6. Friend, in a previous interview with CNN, said the force was unnecessary against an individual who had committed a misdemeanor offense.
Finally, Marcus Allen reported the following:
‘I was not in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, I played no part in the events of Jan. 6, and I condemn all criminal activity that occurred,’ Allen testified. ‘Instead, it appears that I was retaliated against because I forwarded information to my superiors that questioned the official narrative of the events of Jan. 6. As a result, I was accused of promoting conspiratorial views and unreliable information.’
At this date, all three men have been fired or suspended, and their security clearances have been revoked.
* * * *
The Democrats attacked the whistleblowers with guns a-blazing. First, they made the ridiculous statement that the FBI had said that none of these men were whistleblowers. Can anyone explain to me how the FBI were in a position to make that judgment, given they were the organization accused? The requirements for whistleblower status are as follows:
OPR first determines whether the complainant was an FBI employee or applicant who made a protected disclosure under 28 C.F.R. § 27.1(a). To constitute a protected disclosure under the regulation, a complainant must satisfy two essential elements:
(1) The disclosure was made to one of the officials or entities designated to receive protected disclosures under 28 C.F.R. § 27.1(a) and the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act; and
(2) The complainant must show that he or she reasonably believed that his or her disclosure to the designated official or entity showed a violation of law, rules, or regulations; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Please note that the OPR is the Office of Professional Responsibility. It’s unclear whether this office was consulted. Paragraph (2) indicates that the whistleblowers identified one or more of those violations.
Second, it’s clear that retribution was taken against each agent, which is not permitted.
Third, the Democrats demanded to see the original transcript of the interviews of the whistleblowers; Jim Jordan refused, and explained that information from previous interviews was leaked. The Democrats still demanded access to those transcripts. (They would likely claim that Rep. Jordan has no way of knowing who leaked the information.)
Finally, Tristan Leavitt, the attorney for two of the men, testified that the protests listed in the report of the Democrats were inaccurate, particularly when they stated that the whistleblowers were required to provide evidence for their claims. They are incorrect: an investigation is carried out to identify evidence after the whistleblower claims are made.
For the record, all three whistleblowers had received numerous commendations and excellent performance reviews up to this point. Their future and that of their families is uncertain. Friend has managed to find a job, although my understanding is that all three men have not been released to seek jobs elsewhere.
The behavior of the FBI is an embarrassment and a travesty.Published in Law
In the course of my career I saw many revisions to whistleblower regulation to give additional protections and incentives to report violations and abuses. The Democrat position is unwarranted and unconscionable. That they would do so indicates the confidence they have in media allies to bury the truth and deny it an outlet and a confidence that the Republicans will do little other than package the video for campaigns and fund raising.
Their smear is so blatantly obvious that it’s amazing that they could get away with it. I hope Jordan continues to deny them access to the first transcript. You can be sure they’ll be loaded for bear!
There are times I wish my FBI friend was still alive so I could ask him what he thinks about all this. He thought very highly of the agency and would probably be shocked to see what it has become. He retired in 2003 after 40 years of service (I got to read his retirement letter signed by Robert Mueller III) . . .
These brave men had their security clearances revoked, eh? How many of those 51 despicable former intelligence agency officials, who signed that bogus letter about Hunter Biden’s laptop being a Russian disinformation campaign, have had their security clearances revoked? Brennan? Clapper? Any one?
Doesn’t that make you furious?? No one has the guts to do it.
Who would be in a position to revoke their clearances?
I suppose Trump could have done it before, and he should have.
Had he done it when he could have — at the heart of the hoax/coup — it just would have been another impeachment count.
Democrats have lost perspective entirely. They support perverse values and failed programs across the board and so need to create caricatures of Republicans to believe they are the good guys. It is a pathetic partisan mindset increasingly like every other totalitarian regime.
It is not whether the whistleblowers are truthful or whether there were abuses but only what helps or hurts The Party in the moment.
I’m going to guess Christopher Wray; I doubt that Biden removed the security clearances for the current whistleblowers
I was referring to revoking the security clearances for Brennan, Clapper, etc.
I watched Trey Gowdy tonight; his blood pressure was definitely up. He scoffed at Christopher Wray’s comment that new procedures were in place after the nonsense described in the Durham report. And we continue to see the FBI’s malignant behavior continue. As Trey said, as long as the wrong people are in place, procedures are useless.
Yes, I know. I still think Biden might be able to do it (but wouldn’t), but that Wray would also be authorized. I did a quick search on the subject and couldn’t resolve it.
An excellent read, but infuriating. I recommend it strongly for promotion to the Main Feed (for no other reason than such a summary can’t be found in the mainstream press.)
Thanks, PH. I did have to search around to find all the info–thanks for noticing!
Edit: the mainstream press has no interest in presenting a coherent story, either. So we have to do the work for them!
In 2018 Trump did revoke Brennan’s clearance but I seem to recall that after Biden came into office, it was restored. I haven’t bothered to see if I am right or imagining things.
The whole clearance process on the government side seems to effed up. I remember that someone claimed in the media that Jared Kushner had been denied a clearance, but that Trump had ordered he be briefed anyway. One of the more obnoxious NTs at ricochet asked in another thread how we “felt” about that. I never saw the results of the investigation into Kushner’s past, so I had no opinion.
I watched the hearings last week. The Democrats I saw were angry at the whistleblowers. Angry. At these brave men. Not a single expression of gratitude for their bravery or their service, not one attempt to learn what these men knew or what motivated them. Just smears and incredible rudeness.
I had to take the Federal Government Whistleblower training a few months back. They very solemnly explained that the Federal Government cannot retaliate against a whistleblower. I passed the quiz by successfully regurgitating that very information. Yet the FBI retaliated against these whistleblowers, ruined them, smeared them, and then the Democrats piled on on national TV. Clearly they did not take the required training or perhaps they simply couldn’t pass the quiz. After listening to Linda Sanchez-surely one of the most stupendous displays of stupidity on record -I can very well believe the latter.
It was painful to watch. And ugly. Those Democrats are an embarrassment to this country and what it stands for.
The clearance process is an interesting one. If you are an American citizen you are presumed trustworthy unless derogatory or adverse information is found that raises questions about your trustworthiness. “Trustworthy” is principally law abiding. So felony convictions count heavily against receiving a clearance; misdemeanors raise questions that an individual might satisfy a clearance investigator was a simple not to be repeated mistake, not evidence of being a scofflaw.
The clearance process is basic risk management. First, you assess the harm to the country if the information is publicized or otherwise reaches an adversary. That is the classification process. Then you assess the risk that any particular individual might violate rules and either “release” classified information negligently or intentionally. Likely rule breakers do not get clearances. But everyone is susceptible to pressure. Therefore background checks also look for vulnerabilities to pressure: finances, relationships, private conduct that an individual would not want disclosed.
The more harm that release of information can do to the country the higher the classification. The access to higher classification, the greater initial and ongoing scrutiny.
Interestingly, politicians get the least scrutiny. Having been elected it is assumed the people have decided to take the risk. That is, of course, unless you are a threat to the IC.
That’s the prosecutor in him. Hey, don’t we need to appoint a Special Counsel? Hmmmmm . . .
Very informative! Thanks!
These weasels asserted their status as having high-level access and asked the public to rely on that status to believe a lie. Not to accept a bad theory, not a poor interpretation of intel but an outright lie. The intent was to affect the electoral process.
No one needs access to highly classified content except to develop recommendations and analyses upon which our leaders can rely to make good policy. A demonstrated lack of integrity precisely related to the nature of the critical reliance on such persons should be a complete bar to access of any kind. Trust me. I am totally not lying this time.
Yes, none of the signatories is trustworthy to protect anything other than their spot on the trough.
Why are people such as Brennan allowed to keep their clearances/accesses after a change in administrations? Unless Trump was receiving and relying on Brennan’s advice and counsel, Brennan should have received an “administrative debriefing”, along with a lot of others. Or was Trump too gutless or naive to do it?
After reviewing several articles, Trump supposedly did revoke Brennan’s security clearance, but Brennan says he was never notified of it. So I don’t know if he still has it or not. What a mess.
But he did do a thorough job of pardoning Steve Bannon, that worthless grifter. Priorities, you know.
Susan, what gives me some hope for the agency is that this corruption seems to be at the upper levels, not the rank-and-file. Which means reform could be possible if there was accountability at the top (a mighty big “if”).
They’ve managed from the top, but there had to be a lot of “support” from the lower ranks. Whether they supported their bosses willingly is a big question. And whether a new president would get rid of the guys on top is a question–just another reason for Republicans to win! But I’m with you, Jean; would love to see big reforms.