FBI whistleblowers to testify on harsh retaliation from bureau, 'weaponization' of clearance process

Numerous individuals within those organizations have come forward with claims of misconduct at the highest levels, and have often reported severe professional backlash from their superiors in the process.

Published: May 17, 2023 11:27pm

Three FBI whistleblowers will testify to Congress on Thursday about the bureau's alleged retaliatory efforts against them for questioning FBI practices and narratives on sensitive political issues.

As House lawmakers continue to investigate the politicization of federal agencies under the Biden administration, numerous individuals within those organizations have come forward with claims of misconduct at the highest levels, and have often reported severe professional backlash from their superiors in the process.

Just the News has obtained the prepared opening statements of whistleblowers Marcus Allen, Garret O'Boyle, and Stephen Friend, who will testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Intelligence Analyst Marcus Allen has alleged that the bureau suspended his security clearance for raising concerns about the factual accuracy of testimony that FBI Director Christopher Wray gave to Congress about the events of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. During a March 2021 hearing, Wray made remarks suggesting that the FBI or law enforcement had not infiltrated certain groups that attracted blame for violence at the Capitol during the incident.

After viewing a news article suggesting the opposite, Allen wrote to his supervisors asserting that "there is a significant counter-story to the events of 6 January 2021 at the US Capitol. There is a good possibility the DC elements of our organization are not being forthright about the events of the day or the influence of government assets."

Allen, on Thursday, will tell Congress that the bureau subsequently suspended his security clearance, questioned his loyalty to the United States, and accused him of holding "conspiratorial views."

"Despite my history of unblemished service to the United States, the FBI suspended my security clearance, accusing me of actually being DISLOYAL to my country. This outrageous and insulting accusation is based on unsubstantiated accusations that I hold 'conspiratorial views' regarding the events of January 6, 2021 and that I allegedly sympathize with criminal conduct. I do not," his prepared remarks read. "Instead, it appears that I was retaliated against because I forwarded information to my superiors and others that questioned the official narrative of the events of January 6. As a result, I was accused of promoting 'conspiratorial views' and 'unreliable information.' Because I did this, the FBI questioned my allegiance to the United States."

Allen has filed a complaint of retaliation with the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General.

"This has been a trying circumstance for me and my family. It has been more than a year since the FBI took my paycheck from me," he will state. "My family and I have been surviving on early withdrawals from our retirement accounts while the FBI has ignored my request for approval to obtain outside employment during the review of my security clearance. We have lost our federal health insurance coverage. There is apparently no end in sight."

Also appearing in hearing will be Special Agent Garret O'Boyle, who has testified that the FBI prioritized investigations into anti-abortion groups in the aftermath of the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the constitutional right to the procedure.

O'Boyle questioned the point of such an approach, noting that it was pro-abortion protesters who demonstrated outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices. He further contended that he was asked to speak to his anti-abortion informant about potential threats against the justices and that the FBI wanted its agents to look into pregnancy centers.

In his prepared statement, O'Boyle will tell lawmakers of the atmosphere the bureau creates surrounding the practice of whistleblowing.

"Despite our oath to uphold the Constitution, too many in the FBI aren’t willing to sacrifice for the hard right over the easy wrong," his remarks read. "They see what becomes of whistleblowers; how the FBI destroys their careers, suspends them under false pretenses, takes their security clearances and pay with no true options for real recourse or remedy. This is by design; it creates an Orwellian atmosphere that silences opposition and discussion."

In the remarks, O'Boyle recalls the oath he swore to defend the country, but laments that "[m]y oath, however, did not include sacrificing the hopes, dreams, and livelihood of my family: my strong, beautiful and courageous wife and my four sweet and beautiful daughters, who have endured this process along with me."

"In weaponized fashion, the FBI allowed me to accept orders to a new position half- way across the country. They allowed us to sell my family’s home," he continues. "They ordered me to report to the new unit when our youngest daughter was only two weeks old. Then, on my first day on the new assignment, they suspended me; rendering my family homeless and refused to release our household goods, including our clothes, for weeks."

O'Boyle and his family had attempted to move from Kansas to Virginia to accommodate his transfer.

Special Agent Stephen Friend will also testify to his experience blowing the whistle. Friend made a complaint to the Office of Special Counsel alleging that he was suspended for raising concerns about the bureau's alleged manipulation of crime statistics, its treatment of Jan. 6 defendants, and its use of SWAT teams.

Friend's remarks detail his attempts to address his concerns with his superiors.

"At each level of my chain of command, leadership cautioned that despite my exemplary work performance, whistleblowing placed my otherwise bright future with the FBI at risk. Special agents take an oath to protect the US Constitution," he will say. "The dangers of federal law enforcement overreach where hammered home to me when I was required to attend trainings at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and MLK Memorial. I cited my oath and training in my conversations with my FBI supervisors. Nevertheless, the FBI weaponized the security clearance processes to facilitate my removal from active duty within one month of my disclosures."

"In addition to an indefinite, unpaid suspension, the FBI initiated a campaign of humiliation and intimidation to punish and pressure me to resign," his statement continues. "In violation of HIPPA, individuals at the FBI leaked my private medical information to a reporter at the New York Times. In violation of the Privacy Act, the FBI refused to furnish my training records for several months."

"The FBI denied my request to seek outside employment, in an obvious attempt to deprive me of the ability to support my family. Finally, the FBI Inspection Division imposed an illegal gag order in an attempt to prevent me from communicating with my family and attorneys," he concludes.

The subcommittee hearing follows the publication of Special Counsel John Durham's report earlier this week, which revealed the FBI opened its investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign with no predicating evidence and that key intelligence officials were aware that Clinton campaign had planned fabricate a narrative linking Trump to the Russian government.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook


Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News