Boomerang: Democrats get fact-checked after claiming FBI whistleblowers received $250,000 to testify
Lawyers for two whistleblowers quickly combat lawmakers' claims.
Democrats were struck with a political boomerang Wednesday after alleging some FBI whistleblowers received $250,000 in exchange for testimony to a House committee.
While two of the whistleblowers, Garrett O'Boyle and Steve Friend, did get charitable checks to help support their families because their FBI paychecks had ended, there is no evidence in the public record that the checks came in exchange for testimony. In fact, the charities have said there is no connection between the financial aid and the testimonies.
But the Democrat attacks took a more significant blow when lawyers for a third whistleblower, Marcus Allen, revealed he never accepted the money as alleged by a congresswoman.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) alleged during FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee that FBI whistleblowers O'Boyle and Allen were given donations by fellow whistleblower Kyle Seraphin after testifying before congress.
"Here's another picture," Jackson said, referencing two screenshots that were brought to the hearing. "It's the checks that were sent to both O'Boyle and Allen. Each check was for $255,194. Let me say that again. These men were paid $255,194 after they testified as so-called whistleblowers."
When Jackson was done speaking, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) jumped in and corrected her, stating that neither whistleblower received the money.
"They actually haven't received the money," Johnson said. "Have a unanimous considerate request- Mr. Chairman of a tweet Matthew Foldi put out during this hearing."
He proceeded to read off the tweet that stated, "Right off the bat, #NY10’s @RepJerryNadler lies about a whistleblower getting $250k. Marcus Allen has not received $250,000. He has not received or cashed the check that Kyle Seraphin posted online. Allen is seeking legal advice about whether and how he can accept donations while he challenges the FBI’s retaliation for protected whistleblowing."
Johnson requested that information be put on the record, to which Chairman Jim Jordan agreed.
New York Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler also stated that the whistleblowers were paid $250,000 each for their testimony.
Jason Foster, the founder of Empower Oversight, a nonprofit that represents Allen, said via social media that Nadler's claims were untrue.
"It is reprehensible for a Member of Congress to attack our client, FBI #whistleblower Marcus Allen, with bogus accusations," Foster said on Twitter. "Far from profiting, he’s had to deplete his family’s retirement savings to survive."
Foster told Just the News that Allen never cashed the check that was offered to him by Seraphin and is currently in the process of seeking legal advice on whether or not he can accept donations while being a whistleblower.
A spokesperson for lawyer Jesse Binnall, who is representing O'Boyle, told Just the News that the check was not cashed.
"As of today, he has not accepted any money from Kyle Seraphin," Binnall's spokesperson Erica Knight said in a statement. "Democrats didn’t seem concerned when Peter Strozk was raising money for his legal Defense fund as a government employee."
FBI Whistleblower Steve Friend was also accused of accepting donations when he came forward with concerns about the bureau. He told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show on Wednesday that the claims against him were also false.
"This is just a perfect example of taking facts completely out of context and then throwing them up against the wall and hoping that nobody actually reads beyond the headline," he said. "The fact of the matter is that Kash Patel's foundation gave a charitable donation to me and other whistleblowers when we were several months removed from a paycheck. It was the amount of $5,000.
"The $250,000 figure is from ... [an] account that we established for whistleblowers. I was not a recipient of that," he continued. "The money was earmarked to go to Garrett O'Boyle and Marcus Allen, neither of which, neither gentleman, has actually cashed that check."