FBI whistleblowers send shockwaves with warning that threat tags used to target conservatives

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan decried the FBI's emerging "pattern" of targeting "parents, traditional Catholics, pro-lifers" with threat tags.

Published: March 7, 2023 3:35pm

Updated: March 7, 2023 11:17pm

What do school parents, Catholic attendees of Latin Mass and pro-life activists have in common? They've all been branded by the FBI as potential domestic terrorist threats in what whistleblowers say is a growing trend of using intelligence threat tags to enforce cancel culture.

The latest revelation came this past weekend when House Republicans released testimony from an FBI whistleblower who alleged colleagues in the bureau flipped a terrorist threat tag originally created to flag threats against pro-life Supreme Court justices into a signifier that anti-abortion protesters were somehow a threat.

The revelation came months after confirmation that similar threat tags were reserved for parents raising concerns about curriculum at school board meetings and the disclosure of an FBI memo suggesting Catholics who prefer the legacy Latin Mass posed a risk of extremist violence.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee told Just the News on Tuesday the pattern is a disturbing new trend in the political weaponization of federal law enforcement that can be traced all the way back to the launch of the Russia collusion probe targeting Donald Trump in 2016 based on uncorroborated allegations from his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"If it's [targeting] parents, that's one thing," Jordan said on the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Traditional Catholics — okay, well, that's a concern too. But when it gets to be three, which is what we learned from a whistleblower when he said they were targeting pro-lifers, now we see a pattern, right? So it's parents, traditional Catholics, pro-lifers — all are wrong. Now it's a pattern."  

In testimony released this weekend, FBI whistleblower Garret O'Boyle told congressional investigators the bureau issued guidance following the Dobbs abortion decision that overturned Roe v. Wade so agents could "look into ... pregnancy centers" using the tag "THREATTOSCOTUS2022.

O'Boyle found this strange, he testified, beacuse it was pro-choice activists who were "protesting or otherwise threatening violence in front of Supreme Court Justices' houses."

He was asked to talk to a pro-life informant "about the threats to the Supreme Court," he testified. "I was like, why would this person know about those threats? He's pro-life. Like, he's not the one going and threatening the Supreme Court Justices."

O'Boyle never received guidance from the FBI to look into attacks on pro-life facilities, churches, or pregnancy resource centers, he told congressional investigators, illustrating how the threat tag was turned on its head to target pro-lifers instead of radicalized pro-choice supporters as was originally intended. 

He went on to describe how the Bureau "made him divide one domestic terrorism case into four separate cases" to give the appearance of a bigger caseload. This was done, he said, to give lawmakers conducting oversight the appearance of a spike in domestic terror so as to increase funding. 

"It was one case, but the FBI had me open up four different cases," O'Boyle recounted, "because they had me open a case for every individual that I had an articulable, factual basis that there may have been potential Federal law being violated." 

O'Boyle alleges he was suspended by the FBI in retaliation for making protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress. After he was suspended, he testified, the FBI denied him access for more than a month to his family's personal belongings held in storage with a company contracted by the Bureau in Virginia, forcing him and his wife to rely on family members to provide clothing for their three children. He told Congress he ultimately spent around $10,000 to retrieve these belongings. 

"God bless him though for coming forward," Jordan said Wednesday. "They believe in the Constitution, they believe in the First Amendment. I actually think this is the biggest concern we have ... this attack on speech and this web of people ... this web of censorship is so scary. It's one of the things we're really going to try to focus on, on the committee ... as well as the double standard we see: One set of rules for the connected class; another set if you don't have the right political views." 

O'Boyle accused the federal government of persecuting him for speaking out and claimed they "did it maliciously knowing how difficult they were going to make it on me."

"And I thought the FBI was being weaponized against agents or anybody who wanted to step forward and talk about malfeasance inside the agency prior to this," he concluded. "But now, after what has happened to me, I don't think I can ever be convinced that it's anything different than that." 

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NGivasDC

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