On Thursday, three FBI whistleblowers testified before Congress about the runaway corruption they witnessed while working for our nation’s domestic intelligence service.
These public declarations, made in front of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, coincide with release of the Durham report. Special Counsel John Durham’s independent investigation found that the FBI ginned up the Trump-Russia collusion controversy for political reasons.
The three dissenting agents, Steve Friend, Marcus Allen, and Garrett O’Boyle, told the Judiciary that attempts to show supervisors evidence of repeat abuses and wrongdoing led to the indefinite suspension of their security clearances, despite their stellar service records. The FBI has sought to make examples of these men, who are suspended without pay, by refusing to grant them permission to find alternative avenues of employment to support their wives and children.
Friend, Allen and O’Boyle told Congress that retaliation from the Department of Justice and FBI have made them indigent, with Allen stating that he has had to take money out of retirement savings to survive, while O’Boyle has relied on charity from his Church, who he did not name out of fear that the FBI would target them next.
The Republican interrogators were surprisingly serious. Representative Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and others resisted the urge to turn the hearing into another Hunter Biden soap opera and allowed the whistleblowers to be the main attraction.
Democrats, some who appeared sporting purple hair, were caught off-guard by their opponents professional demeanor.
Congress members Stacey Plaskett, Linda Sanchez, Daniel Sachs Goldman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others largely sought to obfuscate and instead began engaging in childish theatrics, off-topic distractions, and fixated on pedantic proceduralism. It was clear that they were working cheek and jowl with the Department of Justice and FBI to take the hearing off the rails, with instances such as accusing Allen of posting a Tweet from an account supporting the January 6th protests that he testified under oath did not belong to him or interrupting speakers to make repeated note of a man standing up against the wall.
In Rep. Plaskett’s opening statement, she stressed that she has criticized the FBI for past violations of the the rights of non-white people, but then pivoted to defend the agency’s predatory behavior in its pursuit of “white Christian” men.
Attempts to characterize these men as being motivated by monetary incentives or pro-Trump bias did not stand up to scrutiny. The few agents who have decided to come forward only have done so after witnessing multiple abuses over a lengthy period of time. They have provided the judiciary with records of complaints lodged internally that were suppressed by their superiors, who then threatened them to stay silent. The men told the panel that they only approached congressional Republicans as their last resort.
The stories these men told were harrowing. In one instance, Special Agent Friend, a member of the FBI SWAT team in Jacksonville, was dispatched to spy on parents protesting the open anti-white racism in their children’s class lessons. He recalled how these investigations like this were not predicated on any evidence of wrongdoing, but were instead based on direction from Washington combined with anonymous tips from people who had political disagreements with their neighbors, not evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Following directives from his superiors, Friend was ordered to collect intelligence on ordinary families participating in school board discussions, including covertly photographing the license plates of parents attending the meetings.
It dawned on Friend that what he was doing was wrong when he realized that he had previously expressed disapproval of political aspects of his own children’s school curriculum. Friend looked back on an instance where a colleague learned of his engagement with his children’s teachers on the matter and glibly joked that one day he might be investigated for being an extremist.
The final straw for Friend was when his team was ordered to execute a military style SWAT raid on the home of 20-year-old Tyler Bensch. As an agent in the SWAT unit, Friend told the House that he participated in over 150 arrests of violent felony suspects throughout his career and yet had never needed to deploy such dangerous tactics. Bensch, who was only being charged with a misdemeanor crime related to entering the Capitol, had offered to surrender peacefully.
The FBI holds that Bensch was allegedly a member of the conservative Three Percent Militia, and it is implied that they wanted to send this young political activist a message. Friend refused this order, citing it as an abuse of authority, and did not participate in the subsequent siege.
Marcus Allen, a decorated war veteran working as a Staff Operation Specialist in the FBI’s Charlotte field office drew the ire of superiors for gathering intelligence that challenged the media and government’s official story about what transpired on January 6th. Allen, who is black, was the Charlotte FBI’s employee of the year and held a security clearance for 20 years before suddenly losing it when he brought the selective use of intelligence to fabricate a political narrative to the attention of his bosses.
The most eye-opening moment of the hearing was video testimony from the Boston FBI’s Intelligence supervisor George Hill. Hill recalled how after requesting the 11,000 hours of surveillance camp footage related to the January 6th protest at the Capitol, he was refused access by his superiors due to fear that undercover federal agents and informants were on tape committing crimes and could be identified.
The men, all working January 6th cases in different parts of the country, found similar opaqueness when investigating the alleged insurrectionists. The facts point to a high-level government conspiracy, where even many rank-and-file FBI agents were being given evidence need-to-know basis while building their respective criminal cases.
The whistleblowers also stated that there are many other FBI agents with additional complaints about corruption and abuses at the Bureau, but they are too afraid to speak out.
The most heartfelt moment came at the end, when an indignant O’Boyle said he was advising other agents not to come forward, “The FBI will crush you. This government will crush you and your family if you try to expose the truth about things they are doing that are wrong.”
Some Republican’s on the Committee sought to carefully distance themselves from calls to defund and abolish the FBI, but the sentiment continues to grow. Matt Gaetz reiterated his opinion that the FBI must be “defunded” and “defanged,” while Marjorie Taylor Greene has introduced articles of impeachment against FBI Director Christopher Wray. It remains to be seen whether these individuals, who are known for empty self-promoting antics, are interested in taking serious steps towards reforming what many believe is America’s very own Stasi.