Thursday, June 29, 2023

Whistleblower: FBI Threatened to Fire Agents Who Criticized Emphasis on Jan. 6 Investigations; New FBI Whistleblower Says Deputy Director Threatened Agents Uncomfortable With J6 Investigations

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Whistleblower: FBI threatened to fire agents who criticized emphasis on Jan. 6 investigations:
An FBI whistleblower has revealed to Congress that Deputy Director Paul Abbate threatened to fire agents and other bureau employees who said there were disparities in the responses to the U.S. Capitol riot in 2021 and the George Floyd riots in 2020.
In an affidavit delivered to Congress, the unnamed FBI worker said Mr. Abbate made the threats during a secured video teleconference with the special agents in charge of the bureau’s 56 field offices. Mr. Abbate told these supervisors that some agents were questioning the massive investigative response to pro-Trump demonstrators storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Abbate told the audience that anyone who questions the FBI’s response or his decisions regarding the response to Jan. 6 did not belong in the FBI and should find a different job — or something to that effect,” according to the affidavit.
In a letter accompanying the affidavit, the whistleblower’s lawyer, Tristan Leavitt, explained: “Abbate had heard that some employees were contrasting the FBI’s response to Jan. 6 with its failure to protect federal personnel and property, or to aggressively investigate interstate conspiracies and resulting damage, during the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.”
The FBI responded to the allegations in the affidavit and defended Mr. Abbate.
“Throughout his 27-plus year career, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate has strongly supported the people and the work of the FBI, treating employees with dignity, compassion, and respect,” the FBI said in a statement to The Washington Times. --->READ MORE HERE
Gareth Milner/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
New FBI Whistleblower Says Deputy Director Threatened Agents Uncomfortable With J6 Investigations:
An independent nonprofit government watchdog that specializes in whistleblower protection sent letters to Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) this week with more evidence of misconduct by FBI leadership.
On Thursday, Empower Oversight submitted an affidavit of a new FBI whistleblower who came forward with allegations of improper intimidation by FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. The whistleblower claimed that shortly after Abbate’s appointment in February 2021, Abbate threatened agency employees concerned about the bureau’s overblown response to the Jan. 6 Capitol demonstrations that same year.
During a secure video conference, said the unnamed employee, Abbate called on agency staff with concerns about the bureau’s approach to the Jan. 6 riot to meet with the deputy director personally so he could, in the whistleblower’s words, “set them straight.”
“I have witnessed hundreds of Director [Secure Video Teleconference]s and have never seen a direct threat like that any other time,” the whistleblower said in the affidavit. “It was chilling and personal, communicating clearly that there would be consequences for anyone that questioned his direction.”
In May, House lawmakers on the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government heard from several other FBI whistleblowers who made similar claims about the conduct of agency leadership.
Former FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, who filed for whistleblower protection in August, told the committee he raised concerns over the FBI’s reaction to the Capitol riot, which he thought “could have undermined potentially righteous prosecutions and may have been part of an effort to inflate the FBI’s statistics on domestic extremism.”
“I also voiced concerns that the FBI’s use of SWAT and large-scale arrest operations to apprehend suspects who were accused of nonviolent crimes and misdemeanors, represented by counsel, and who pledged to cooperate with the federal authorities in the event of criminal charges created an unnecessary risk to FBI personnel and public safety,” Friend said. “At each level of my chain of command, leadership cautioned that despite my exemplary work performance, whistleblowing placed my otherwise bright future with the FBI at risk.” --->READ MORE HERE
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