The House Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, before its whistleblower hearing began Thursday, released an extensive report on the testimony from several current and former FBI employees who "chose to risk their careers to expose abuses and misconduct in the FBI."
Disclosures by two special agents, Garret O'Boyle and Stephen Friend; a supervisory intelligence analyst, George Hill; and a staff operations specialist, Marcus Allen — three of whom testified in Thursday's hearing — "highlight egregious abuse, misallocation of law-enforcement resources, and misconduct with the leadership ranks of the FBI," the report said.
- The FBI's Washington Field Office (WFO) pressured a field office in Boston to open investigations on 138 people "who traveled to Washington, D.C., to exercise their First Amendment rights" on Jan. 6, 2021. The report says that the FBI had "no specific indication that these people were involved in any way in criminal activity," but that they shared buses to the capital with two people who had entered restricted areas of the Capitol during the protests.
- The Boston Field Office asked the WFO for more evidence, including video from the Capitol, to properly predicate the investigations, but while the WFO provided pictures of the two individuals inside the Capitol, it refused to provide video evidence from the Capitol "out of fear it would disclose undercover officers or confidential human sources inside the Capitol."
- Bank of America voluntarily provided the FBI with confidential customer data, including a list of people who made transactions in the Washington, D.C.. area between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, 2021 with people who had previously bought a gun using a bank product being elevated to the top of the list.
After the Democrats' attacks, Allen initially only consented to speak with the committee's Republican majority members.
FBI leadership pressured agents to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism while manufacturing such cases and manipulating its case categorization system to create the perception that such events are organically rising around the country.
The FBI dispenses cash bonuses to local field office leadership "for meeting certain arbitrary metrics and performance goals," creating "perverse incentives for the FBI to utilize law-enforcement tools and resources where they may not be needed or appropriate in order for FBI leadership to benefit financially."
The whistleblowers, the report adds, "described retaliatory conduct that they have faced after making protected disclosures about what they believed in good faith to be wrong conduct."
The report adds that the whistleblowers all "expressed sincere concern about the state of the FBI, but they remained optimistic that the Bureau could improve with 'tough love.'"
"That concern and hope for the FBI's future are fundamentally what motivates these brave whistleblowers: the belief that speaking truth to power, through the right channels, can help to restore the Bureau to what it once was," the report says. "This report builds on the disclosures of these whistleblowers to assist the Committee and Select Subcommittee in understanding the problems so that Congress may consider potential legislative reforms to America's preeminent law enforcement agency."
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