Key lawmaker worried FBI whistleblowers facing retaliation as evidence of politicization mounts
Suspension of FBI agent, SWAT team member raises concerns after his name outed on TV, Rep. Jim Jordan says.
An FBI whistleblower who alleges the bureau has been diverting resources to create a false political narrative that America has a violent domestic extremism problem has been suspended, raising concerns about retaliation for cooperating with Congress.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and its likely chairman if the GOP wins the House in November, confirmed to Just the News that Steve Friend, a whistleblower whose identity was outed on TV recently, is facing some form of disciplinary action.
"We now understand based on what we've learned that he's been suspended, which appears to be some kind of retaliation," Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "I don't know, maybe there's some other reason for that. But, obviously, the law says that whistleblowers, agents coming forward as whistleblowers, are protected by the law. There's not supposed to be retaliation.
"I'm sure the Bureau has some reason they're saying that this took place. But we'll have to wait and see."
Fox News and The New York Post reported earlier this week that FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, a SWAT team member, had filed a whistleblower complaint with the Justice Department inspector general alleging improper politicization of cases and manipulation of crime statistics.
Friend's complaint alleges the bureau has been "cooking the books to exaggerate the threat of domestic terrorism and using an 'overzealous' Jan. 6 investigation to harass conservative Americans and violate their constitutional rights," the Post reported.
Jordan gave a broad description of the allegations 14 separate FBI whistleblowers have brought to his office, saying the concerns range from improperly targeting parents as domestic terrorists to politicizing investigative decisions.
He said the allegations Friend brought raised serious concern that unnecessary force has been used to arrest conservatives accused of minor crimes and resources have been diverted from other crimes to create a false portrait about the state of domestic violent extremism in the country to fit the Biden administration's narrative.
The whistleblowers came to his office to "say they were being pressured by their superiors to catalog cases as DVEs, domestic violent extremism cases when they weren't," Jordan explained.
"And then the most recent ones have come and said that not only are they juicing the numbers, they're cooking the books in the way they allocate where these investigations happen," Jordan recounted. "Even though they're all relative to January 6, it makes it appear as if there's a domestic violent extremist behind every door in every city around the country.
"And they're so focused on this, they're so obsessed, this whistleblower said, that they're pulling agents off of child abuse cases and trafficking cases to focus on this narrative."
Jordan said the whistleblower's detailed description of the bureau conduct "seems to be in line with the narrative we heard from President Biden, when he in the last several weeks called Republicans fascist, half the country, I guess, fascist and extremists. That's what this whistleblower tells us."
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), another House Judiciary Committee member, said the breadth of information flowing to Congress from whistleblowers painted a stunning portrait of an FBI seemingly putting its finger on the scale of justice for political reasons. He said it was essential for Republcians to do what they can to protect those coming forward to report wrongdoing.
"I think the whistleblowers who are coming out right now, particularly the ones who are in the administration, who stand to lose their jobs, they're really brave, because we're not in power," Massie told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "And the people in power could punish them. I mean, you're not supposed to punish the whistleblower, but we know it's happening.
"So when we get in the majority, I think that will embolden even more whistleblowers, because right now, there may be whistleblowers out there saying, 'What's the use? The Republicans can’t issue subpoenas, the Republicans can't call hearings — that's all up to the majority.' Well, when we get the majority, we'll be able to do that and pursue this. And I think we're going to have even more whistleblowers."
Jordan said if Republicans take control of Congress in the November midterms, his committee will focus on getting all of the whistleblowers' concerns out in the open and then examining solutions.
"We need to look at big things," he said. "[Are] there structural changes that need to potentially happen at the FBI?"
Noting that the FBI's Washington Field Office is "where the real politics takes place," Jordan asked whether things should "be run out of the field offices around the country" instead.
"There are a host of things I think we need to look at," he continued. "But we can't offer up all the solutions that need to happen until we get all the facts out there for the American people to see."
Asked whether he thought FBI Director Chris Wray, appointed by former President Donald Trump, was up to the task of restoring Americans' confidence in the FBI, Jordan said he was uncertain.
"I think there are some changes that need to be made," he said. "Certainly, I don't know if Chris Wray can do it. I mean, frankly, this is the guy that told us that you can you can sleep easy at night, the FISA courts are working fine. And then the inspector general gives us a report that shows us all the abuse that's going on in the FISA court, so I guess I'm probably with you and so many Americans that don't have a whole lot of confidence there."