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Several FBI whistleblowers testified to a House Republican-led committee last week on the politicization of the bureau regarding some high-profile incidents, including the January 6 Capitol riot and the targeting of Supreme Court justices last summer.
According to excerpts of transcripts reviewed by Just the News, certain whistleblowers testified to the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government last month that the FBI had politicized cases pertaining to Jan. 6 defendants and pro-life activists while punishing internal whistleblowers who spoke out.
George Hill, a former FBI supervisory intelligence analyst who retired from the bureau’s Boston field office last year, testified that the Washington Field Office had urged other field offices to probe citizens for actions safeguarded by the First Amendment, the outlet noted.
Hill revealed that his own Boston Field Office had opposed Washington’s attempts to open cases against seven individuals flagged by the Bank of America, as well as a larger group of 140 Americans who had merely taken buses to attend the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021.
Hill believes that Washington placed comparable pressure on the Philadelphia Field Office. During a nationwide conference call with all 56 FBI field offices, Hill testified that Steve Jensen, the then-chief of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Center Section, inquired about the progress of an investigation into three individuals that had been forwarded by the Washington Field Office, the outlet noted further.
The former analyst recounted that the Philadelphia office had responded by stating that the three individuals had expressed support for the Second Amendment and anti-abortion views on social media. However, they clarified that this did not imply that the individuals were “insurrectionists seeking to overturn our democracy.”
Jensen, according to HIll’s testimony, responded, “I don’t give a blank, they’re all bleeping terrorists, and we’re going to round them up,” Just the News noted.
Steve Friend, a former FBI special agent and SWAT team member, testified to the committee that he was sidelined for a day after expressing concerns about employing a SWAT team to apprehend an individual involved in the Jan. 6 investigation. Friend clarified that the individual in question was already cooperating with the FBI and willing to surrender voluntarily, causing him to worry that the bureau wasn’t using the most unobtrusive methods possible for the arrest, Just the News added.
After speaking with his direct supervisor, he recalled, two assistant special agents in charge of Friend’s office met with him and “pushed back on” his objections and concerns, saying that he had a right to raise them, but he also “had to follow through on the orders that I was given to do.”
Friend conveyed to the superiors that he was not willing to be involved in carrying out the warrant. He stated that if he was instructed to do so, he “would have to think twice about going,” but he would contact them in advance if he made that decision.
Friend testified that he was prohibited from taking part in any operations related to arresting individuals involved in the events of Jan. 6 after this incident. According to him, he received an email from one of the assistant special agents in charge stating that he had been “ordered to not come to work the following day” and told that he would “be considered absent without leave.”
The FBI previously told Just the News in a statement regarding Friend: “While we cannot comment on the specifics of personnel matters, all FBI employees understand they are held to the highest standards because their work is critical to fulfilling our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution of the United States.
“Employees who don’t carry out their responsibilities are held accountable through an objective administrative process. FBI employees who report evidence of wrongdoing through a protected disclosure are protected from retaliation. Such reporting supports the FBI’s mission and is fully consistent with our core values,” the statement added, according to the outlet.
According to FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle’s testimony, he was suspended by the bureau in response to his making protected disclosures to Congress.
O’Boyle recounted that the bureau had suspended him at a time when his family was getting ready to relocate from Kansas to Virginia for his new job transfer within the bureau. He added that their previous home had already been sold, and they were awaiting the completion of their new one, Just the News reported.
“I thought the FBI was being weaponized against agents or anybody who wanted to step forward and talk about malfeasance inside the agency prior to this,” O’Boyle testified. “But now, after what has happened to me, I don’t think I can ever be convinced that it’s anything different than that.”
During his testimony, O’Boyle revealed that in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the issue of abortion to individual states, the FBI concentrated on potential threats against the justices by pro-life advocates, emphasizing “pro-life adherence.”
“Why are you focusing on pro-life people?” O’Boyle recalled thinking at the time. “It’s pro-choice people who are the ones protesting or otherwise threatening violence in front of Supreme Court Justices’ houses.”
He was asked to talk to his pro-life informant “about the threats to the Supreme Court,” he testified. “I was like, why would this person know about those threats? He’s pro-life. Like, he’s not the one going and threatening the Supreme Court Justices.”