Another slew of whistleblowers have come forward with misconduct claims against the FBI following the Bureau's raid on former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
FBI field offices in Miami, Salt Lake City, Buffalo and Newark face accusations that their upper management coerced agents to sign false affidavits, inflated terrorism caseloads to improve their apparent performance, engaged in illicit sexual activities, or concealed those of others, according to the Washington Times.
“The FBI is completely out of control and its culture and structure needs to change. Not only is the political bias completely out of control and disgustingly obvious, the FBI knows they will not be held accountable for their illegal behavior and misconduct,” said one Whistleblower in a letter to Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tx) of the House Judiciary Committee. This whistleblower alleged that FBI Director Christopher Wray ignored her allegations of sexual misconduct.
Prior to the FBI's raid on Trump's estate, a string of whistleblowers had come forward with accusations of political bias against senior FBI officials. The Washington Field Office, which sent the agents to Florida to raid Trump's estate, was facing its own set of allegations.
Following the raid, Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson put out a call for FBI whistleblowers to come forward with misconduct concerns. Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said that 14 whistleblowers had contacted his office following the raid.
One whistleblower said that the senior agents running the field offices face pressure to increase the number of case loads each year due to the way the Bureau evaluates their performance and that this has lead to illicit practices.
“It’s basically a report card for him, so at the end of his two-year term as a SAC [special agent in charge], he gets moved to a better position down in Washington. And everything focuses around his metrics,” a whistleblower at the Buffalo office said. “You have to have so many terrorism cases per year in your office, or else you fail."
Former Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division and Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch Jill Sanborn faced a similar accusation earlier this month that she had improperly classified cases as "domestic violent extremist" (DVEs) to support a Biden administration narrative that such cases were the superlative threat facing the nation.
Kurt Siuzdak, a former FBI agent and whistleblower who now legally represents others, told the Times that similar cases occur nationwide, especially around the holidays.
“Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s a number of field offices, and the SAC picks somebody for everybody to follow because it helps them with their metrics,” Siuzdak told the outlet. “So they pick somebody to scrutinize, often without merit from wherever, and that’s the bad guy you need to follow and put your assets on.” The former agent dubbed the target a “Turkey Day Terrorist."
Siuzdak went on to discuss claims by clients at the Salt Like City office that the agents there faced pressure to sign false or misleading affidavits.
“If your affidavit kind of mischaracterizes something … agents shouldn’t be pressured to sign,” he said. “They should be pressured to sign correct and truthful affidavits.”