House Republicans joined FBI whistleblowers in alleging “retaliation” for exposing political “rot” within the bureau, while the FBI revoked some of their security clearances and Democrats accused them of being a “national security threat.”
The controversy spilled out as the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), released a report on what they called the “politically weaponized” FBI and held a whistleblower hearing on Thursday. Meantime, the FBI pushed out a letter criticizing some of the witnesses testifying to counter their allegations.
“The FBI’s mission is to uphold the Constitution and protect the American people,” an FBI spokesperson told the Washington Examiner late Thursday. “The FBI has not and will not retaliate against individuals who make protected whistleblower disclosures.”
Jordan called the whistleblowers “brave” for speaking out and said they suffered backlash from the FBI as a result.
“They came forward, and I want to thank them for doing it. But because they did, man oh man, have they faced retaliation,” Jordan said.
The new House Republican report blasted improper “retaliation” by the FBI against the whistleblowers who testified on Thursday: FBI special agent Stephen Friend, FBI special agent Garret O’Boyle, and FBI staff operations specialist Marcus Allen.
“Whistleblower testimony makes clear that the FBI rid itself of employees who dared to speak out against FBI leadership or to raise good faith concerns about FBI operations,” the report states. “The FBI has taken personnel actions against whistleblowers who raised concerns within the Bureau and, later, to Congress. In several instances — Friend, O’Boyle, and Allen — the FBI weaponized the security clearance adjudication process to silence employees who fight against the politicized ‘rot’ within the FBI leadership.”
The GOP report added that “because a security clearance is necessary to work at the FBI, revoking or suspending an agent’s security clearance effectively indefinitely suspends the agent and leaves the agent to languish in an unpaid purgatory.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 5/19/2023) (Archive)