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Watchdog presses FBI on whistleblower's bid for outside employment

Marcus Allen came forward in 2023 alleging that the FBI had retaliated against him for questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony to Congress.

Published: February 13, 2024 5:01pm

Watchdog group Empower Oversight on Tuesday announced a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the FBI to provide documentation on a whistleblower's request to seek outside employment while on leave for more than two years.

Marcus Allen came forward in 2023 alleging that the FBI had retaliated against him for questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony to Congress about the presence of federal agents at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He has not received a paycheck from the bureau for almost two years and has been unable to secure FBI approval for other employment.

"The FBI has made other unlawful decisions that aggravate Mr. Allen's financial distress by depriving him of other sources of income while he has been suspended indefinitely without pay," wrote Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt. "The crux of the FBI's unlawful actions to interfere with Mr. Allen’s ability to obtain another income is that—although the FBI has suspended Mr. Allen from all duties for two years and has stated its intention to revoke his clearance and never return him to a duty status—it simultaneously claims that he remains an 'employee' subject to various FBI restrictions and approvals necessary for outside income. The FBI’s claim is plainly contrary to the statutory definition of a federal employee."

Empower Oversight requested that the FOIA officer provide them with documents and communications related to Allen's requests to secure outside employment, which the group accused the Department of Justice of "stonewalling."

"[T]he FBI baldly asserts the authority to require Mr. Allen to obtain permission from the FBI before accepting outside employment," Leavitt continued. "When he asked for such permission, the FBI unreasonably delayed responding to Mr. Allen’s good faith request for permission, causing him to lose an opportunity to mitigate the loss of his FBI income and causing him significant financial harm."

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

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