Jim Jordan’s FBI whistleblowers testifying publicly before Congress as questions about their legitimacy remain

Jim Jordan’s FBI whistleblowers testifying publicly before Congress as questions about their legitimacy remain

As questions about their legitimacy persist, Jim Jordan arranges for the FBI whistleblowers to testify publicly before Congress.

Three individuals who describe themselves as FBI whistleblowers, crucial to the Republican narrative that the FBI is targeting conservatives, will provide testimony at a House hearing on Thursday. This hearing marks a further escalation of House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s investigation into allegations of discrimination and bias within the FBI.

Following this development, the FBI announced the revocation of security clearances for three agents. These agents either participated in the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol or expressed alternative theories regarding the Capitol attack. The FBI conveyed this information in a letter to the subcommittee on Wednesday.

Marcus Allen and Steve Friend, who are among the agents, will testify before the panel on Thursday.

Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, has consistently highlighted the allegations made by numerous whistleblowers, which he asserts form the foundation for his committee’s claims of increasing politicization within the FBI and Justice Department. However, during closed-door interviews conducted earlier this year by Jordan’s subcommittee, the initial individuals who appeared, including two of the whistleblowers scheduled to testify publicly at the upcoming hearing, became a contentious issue in the investigation. Democrats raised concerns about the legitimacy of their status as whistleblowers and the reliability of their testimony..

Republicans assert that Moore was part of a larger removal of FBI staff members who held conservative viewpoints. They argue that issuing her a subpoena is justified due to her refusal to answer questions during her initial interview with the panel. Based on an FBI letter, Moore expressed her willingness to participate in an interview one day prior to the hearing, during which she could provide more information regarding specific cases. However, the committee chose not to proceed with the follow-up interview.

Moore also disclosed that she is responsible for overseeing the security clearances of approximately 38,000 employees. In an exclusive excerpt of her transcript provided  she revealed that only 32 employees are currently under suspension, indicating that the number is relatively low. Moore stated that there are typically around 50 security incidents reported per week, which has been the standard in recent years.

The hearing also serves as an opportunity for Republicans to bring attention to an issue that resonates with their base.

According to GOP Representative Mike Johnson, a member of the panel, his constituents frequently inquire why he cannot take more action to address what they perceive as the politicization of the federal government.

“I am constantly explaining to my constituents when I’m back in my district that as a member of Congress, I have limitations,” he stated during an interview. “We only hold the majority in one House of Congress. I lack the authority to indict or arrest individuals, put them on trial, or establish a court. However, my responsibility lies in conducting oversight and presenting these facts and issues for scrutiny in the court of public opinion.”

Allen, an FBI staff operations specialist, had his security clearance suspended in January 2022 after expressing support for the January 6, 2021, US Capitol insurrection.

In response, Allen has filed a lawsuit against FBI Director Christopher Wray, alleging violations of his constitutional rights and false accusations of holding “conspiratorial views.”

On May 3, the FBI officially revoked Allen’s security clearance, citing various reasons, including an email from September 29, 2021, where Allen urged FBI officials to exercise caution in their investigative inquiries related to the events of January 6.

Allen claimed that he couldn’t find open-source information regarding a person allegedly involved in criminal activity during the Capitol attack, but another FBI employee later discovered evidence that the individual had physically assaulted Capitol Police officers during the incident.

The FBI stated that its investigation revealed Allen’s questionable judgment, unreliability, and unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations, making him unfit to safeguard classified or sensitive information.

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, an organization that filed a lawsuit on Allen’s behalf, commented, stating, “Mr. Allen was a top employee of the FBI, and he was punished for doing his job. Americans will see him as an American hero who was trying to do the right thing but faced consequences.”

Furthermore, Friend, a former FBI agent based in Florida, had his security clearance suspended in September 2022. The suspension occurred after Friend objected to the use of a SWAT team to arrest an individual who, according to the FBI, had committed a misdemeanor offense by being present illegally at the Capitol on January 6.

The FBI revoked Friend’s security clearance on May 16, as stated in the letter obtained. The FBI’s decision was based on several factors. It was revealed that on September 3, 2022, Friend entered FBI premises and downloaded documents from FBI computer systems onto an unauthorized removable flash drive. Additionally, Friend engaged in multiple unapproved media interviews, including one with a Russian government news agency, and recorded a meeting with FBI management, potentially violating Florida state law. The FBI conducted interviews with Friend, his colleagues, and reviewed his social media activity before making the decision to revoke his security clearance.

Rachel Semmel, spokesperson for the Center for Renewing America, where Friend holds a senior fellow position, stating, “The FBI is resorting to lies and misinformation because they perceive Steve’s courage and honesty as a threat to their corruption.”

Both Allen and Friend have a 30-day window to request a reconsideration of the FBI’s decision.

Garret O’Boyle, a suspended FBI agent, has not shared his direct disclosures or the FBI suspension notice with House Democrats, according to reviewed transcripts. During his closed-door interview with the subcommittee earlier this year, O’Boyle considered his allegations against the FBI confidential.

Democratic Representative Dan Goldman, a member of the subcommittee, expressed interest in exploring any potential connections between the whistleblowers and associates of former President Donald Trump. He stated, “I am very interested to determine what degree of coordination there has been between these whistleblowers and the committee and other associates of Donald Trump. So, we’ve got a lot of questions for them, both about the substance of their claims and about their bias.”

Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly, another member of the subcommittee, remarked that House Republicans have failed to substantiate anything with the accounts provided by the whistleblowers.

Jim Jordan’s FBI whistleblowers testifying publicly before Congress as questions about their legitimacy remain

The fourth individual scheduled to testify on Thursday is Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight. The organization legally represents a group of whistleblowers who are in contact with Congress, including Friend. Leavitt previously worked in the Office of the Special Counsel under the Trump administration, where he contributed to reforming the office’s whistleblower disclosure program. He also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the “Operation Fast and Furious” investigation, under former Chairman Chuck Grassley, and worked on the House Oversight Committee under former Chairman Jason Chaffetz, participating in the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.