An interim staff report released Thursday morning by the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of "retaliatory conduct" against whistleblowers who exposed the bureau's "politicized rot."
The committee's report, obtained by Fox News Digital, revealed that the FBI suspended and revoked the security clearances of employees who spoke out about the agency's "abuse and misconduct."
Several current and former FBI employees provided testimony to the committee.
"Some of these employees—Special Agents Garret O'Boyle and Stephen Friend, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst George Hill, and Staff Operations Specialist Marcus Allen—have chosen to speak on the record about their experiences," the report stated. "The disclosures from these FBI employees highlight egregious abuse, misallocation of law-enforcement resources, and misconduct with the leadership ranks of the FBI."
What’s the background?
The whistleblowers accused the bureau of opening unjust investigations into individuals who attended the political rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. They claimed that the law enforcement agency had "no specific indication" that 138 of the people "were involved in any way in criminal activity."
"The only basis for investigating these people was that they shared buses to Washington with two individuals who entered restricted areas of the Capitol that day," the report explained.
The FBI's Washington Field Office then refused to provide video evidence "out of fear it would disclose undercover officers or confidential human sources inside the Capitol," whistleblowers alleged.
The employees also claimed that the FBI pressured its staff to "reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism (DVE), and even manufactured DVE cases where they may not otherwise exist." By inflating the cases, the FBI made it appear that DVE was "organically rising around the country," the report stated.
Alleged retaliatory conduct
The three whistleblowers who went on the record to expose the FBI's alleged corruption told the committee they faced retaliatory conduct from the agency.
Special Agent O'Boyle testified that the FBI transferred him to a different location across the country. O'Boyle claimed that immediately after moving his family, the bureau placed him on an unpaid suspension. He stated that his family was effectively "homeless" and that he could not access their belongings because they were in FBI storage.
Special Agent Friend reported that his security clearance was revoked, rendering him unable to perform his duties. As a result, the FBI subsequently suspended him indefinitely, he stated. Friend claimed he was not authorized to seek outside employment during his suspension.
Staff Operations Specialist Allen had his security clearance revoked after "simply performing duties of his job," the report stated. Allen said he sent open-source news articles and videos related to the January 6 protest to his colleagues for "situational awareness."
"Because these open-source articles questioned the FBI's handling of the violence at the Capitol, the FBI suspended Allen for 'conspiratorial views in regard to the events of January 6th,'" the report claimed.
The committee's report claimed that, like Friend, Allen was not given approval to find outside employment during his suspension.
The bureau's response
Fox News Digital obtained a letter on Thursday from the FBI to the Judiciary Committee regarding the suspension of Allen and Friend.
According to the FBI, Friend "refused to participate in the execution of a court authorized, search and arrest of a criminal subject."
"During his communications with his management about his refusal to participate, he espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021," the FBI added. "On September 3, 2022, Mr. Friend entered FBI space and downloaded documents from FBI computer systems to an unauthorized removable flash drive. The FBI then required Mr. Friend to attend a Security Awareness Briefing (SAB) regarding his actions, but he refused to do so."
The agency also accused Friend of "participat[ing] in multiple, unapproved media interviews, including an interview with a Russian government news agency."
According to Friend, he obtained approval from the FBI's Office of Public Affairs to participate in the interviews, but the agency claimed that no such approval was given.
The FBI's letter said that Allen was suspended over security concerns and allegations that he obstructed an investigation.
"Specifically, the Security Division found Mr. Allen espoused alternative theories to coworkers verbally and in emails and instant messages sent on the FBI systems, in apparent attempts to hinder investigative activity," the letter stated.
"As one example, on September 29, 2021, Mr. Allen sent an email using his FBI email account to multiple colleagues that contained links to websites and urged recipients to 'exercise extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of' January 6," the FBI wrote.
"Another example included an email containing a link to a website that stated, among other things, 'By now it's clear that federal law enforcement had some degree of infiltration among the crowds gathered at the Capitol on January 6,' to which Mr. Allen commented, 'brings up serious concerns about USG participation,'" the agency added.
One of the FBI whistleblowers called the bureau "cancerous" because it has "let itself become enveloped in this politicization and weaponization." The committee's report accused the bureau of "engaging in a 'purge' of agents who hold conservative beliefs."
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