FBI responds to suspension of whistleblower, says it follows 'objective administrative process'

FBI Special Agent Stephen Friend says he was suspended after raising concerns about treatment of Jan. 6 suspects, use of SWAT teams.

Updated: September 26, 2022 - 10:59pm

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The FBI responded Monday night to the suspension of an agent who blew the whistle on alleged mistreatment of Jan. 6 suspects, saying the bureau follows "an objective administrative process" and is committed to protecting whistleblowers who make "protected disclosures."

The bureau provided a statement to Just the News after the news organization inquired about the allegations Special Agent Stephen Friend made in a complaint to the Office of Special Counsel alleging he was suspended after raising concerns about treatment of Jan. 6 suspects, the use of SWAT teams and alleged manipulation of crime statistics.

The bureau said it could not discuss the specifics of Friend's case but addressed the process for handling such whistleblowing allegations.

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of personnel matters, all FBI employees understand they are held to the highest standards because their work is critical to fulfilling our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution of the United States," the FBI statement said.

"Employees who don’t carry out their responsibilities are held accountable through an objective administrative process," it added. "FBI employees who report evidence of wrongdoing through a protected disclosure are protected from retaliation. Such reporting supports the FBI's mission and is fully consistent with our core values."

In his whistleblower complaint reviewed by Just the News, Friend acknowledged he told a supervisor he "was going to refuse to participate in any J6 cases" because of concerns about violations of some defendants' constitutional rights.

"I expressed my concerns about violating citizens' Sixth  Amendment rights due to overzealous charging by the DOJ and biased jury pools in Washington D.C," he told the Special Counsel's Office.

Just the News reported earlier that Friend alleged he believes the bureau and Justice Department are violating the constitutional rights of Jan. 6 defendants, falsifying statistics on domestic extremism and misusing SWAT teams to make misdemeanor arrests.

"I believed the investigations were inconsistent with FBI procedure and resulted in the violation of citizens' Sixth and Eighth Amendment rights," Friend wrote. "I added that many of my colleagues expressed similar concerns to me but had not vocalized their objections to FBI Executive Management."