“POLITICIZED ROT”: FBI Employees Had Security Clearances Revoked After Speaking Out Against The Bureau
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The House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government said that FBI employees who spoke out against the “politicized rot” within the bureau were suspended or had their security clearances revoked.
The committees released an interim staff report on Thursday morning that revealed new whistleblower testimony from some current and former FBI employees that exposes “abuses and misconduct in the FBI.”
“The disclosures from these FBI employees highlight egregious abuse, misallocation of law enforcement resources and misconduct with the leadership ranks of the FBI,” the report states.
Fox News reported:
The report said that the FBI whistleblowers described the FBI’s alleged “retaliatory conduct” against them “after making protected disclosures about what they believed in good faith to be wrong conduct.”
Two whistleblowers — Steve Friend, a former FBI special agent, and Marcus Allen, an FBI staff operations specialist — had their security clearances revoked this month and are expected to appear for testimony before the Weaponization Subcommittee Thursday morning.
The committee’s report said the FBI suspended Friend’s security clearance and suspended him without pay after he made protected disclosures about the bureau’s handling of Domestic Violent Extremism cases, and after he expressed concern about the bureau’s handling of cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Friend said that the FBI’s handling of January 6-related investigations “deviated from standard practice and created a false impression with respect to the threat of DVE nationwide.”
The committee’s report said the FBI suspended Allen’s security clearance for simply performing the duties of his job, which was conducting case-related research using open-source news articles and videos and sending his search results to his task force colleagues.
Allen told the committees that he sent around links to open-source opinion videos related to the Capitol riot 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 states, adding that the FBI did not give him the approval to seek outside employment during his suspension.
Fox News obtained a letter sent from the FBI to both Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee ahead of the hearing Thursday, explaining the suspensions of both Friend and Allen.
The FBI said Friend’s top secret security clearance was revoked by the FBI on May 16, two days before Thursday’s Weaponization Subcommittee hearing. The letter states that Friend, in August 2022, “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 said. “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 FBI also said Friend “participated in multiple, unapproved media interviews, including an interview with a Russian government news agency.”
“Mr. Friend alleges he obtained approval from the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) to participate in these interviews, but OPA did not provide such authorization,” the letter states. “Mr. Friend’s failure to follow FBI policies relating to social media contacts and his lack of candor poses a security concern.”
Allen’s top security clearance was revoked by the FBI on May 3, the letter said, after the bureau opened a security investigation into him in October 2021 following a referral from the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office. In January 2022, Allen’s security clearance was suspended based on security concerns.
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 FBI said, noting that despite multiple directives from his supervisor to “stop circulating these materials,” Allen “continued.”
“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 said.
“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.’”