Two suspended FBI agents, who describe themselves as whistleblowers, appeared before the House on Thursday and claimed that there is bias in the agency against conservatives.
It’s the latest twist in House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s investigation into discrimination by the FBI.
The hearing came just one day after the FBI revoked the security clearances of the two agents, according to a letter the FBI sent the subcommittee late Wednesday. A third agent whose security clearance was also revoked was not scheduled to appear.
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“We’re going to let them tell their story, because they have definitely been retaliated against, and in some cases it’s really bad,” Jordan told CNN.
The Republican lawmaker from Ohio said it was no surprise the three agents had their security clearances taken away.
“We actually expected it. We’re surprised it took them that long to put up this letter about these guys, but you’ll get to hear from these individuals today, these brave Americans,” Jordan said.
Agents Marcus Allen and Stephen Friend appeared before the subcommittee less than 24 hours after the FBI questioned their “allegiance to the United States” over the one’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot and the other’s opinions.
“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,” Allen’s statement, released Wednesday night, read.
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FBI special agent Garret O’Boyle also testified during the hearing regarding the FBI’s treatment of whistleblowers.
Agents “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,” O’Boyle’s prepared remarks read. “It creates an Orwellian atmosphere that silences opposition and discussion.”
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said the hearing was a chance for his constituents to get more information over concerns that government institutions are working against conservatives.
“I explain every day when I’m back home, I am just a member of Congress,” Johnson reportedly told CNN. “We only have the majority in one House of Congress. I don’t have the ability to indict anyone, to arrest them or put them on trial or court.”
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“What I do have a responsibility is oversight, and putting these facts on display and putting these issues on trial in the court of public opinion,” he said.
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., said he planned to questioned how closely these FBI agents were to “Trump world.”
“I am very interested to determine what degree of coordination there has been between these whistleblowers and the committee and other associates of Donald Trump,” Goldman said on Wednesday. “So, we’ve got a lot of questions for them, both about the substance of their claims and about their bias.”
The Horn editorial team