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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