Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has pushed back on the FBI’s denial of his allegations that the agency had engaged in a conservative “purge” and was cracking down on whistleblowers.
The Republican lawmaker made the remarks in an interview on Sept. 30 on Fox News, in which he took aim at the FBI’s dismissal of his allegations as “false and misleading” and pushed back on the agency’s assertion that it has simply been doing its job and following lawful procedures.
“Established policies and procedures, are you kidding me?” Jordan told the outlet, giving examples of FBI actions that he suggested were politically motivated, including the raid on the home of former President Donald Trump.
“In the past several weeks, they’ve raided the home of a former president, taking the phone of a sitting member of Congress, and we saw what they did to the pastor and his family and seven children: 20 agents, guns drawn, going to his house, when the local officials said there was no crime whatsoever,” Jordan continued.
“So established policies, you’ve got to be kidding me. So that’s what’s going on at the FBI. And now what’s happening is the people who are brave enough to take whistleblower status and come talk to us, they’re coming after them,” he added.
Letter Alleging Conservative ‘Purge’
Jordan’s interview on Friday followed a letter he wrote to the FBI claiming the agency was engaging in a “purge” of employees with conservative viewpoints and retaliating against whistleblowers by yanking their security clearances.
In the letter to FBI executive assistant director of the Human Resources branch Jennifer Moore that was obtained by The Epoch Times, the Republican lawmaker said he had received information of retaliation against FBI employees who have reported alleged FBI misconduct to Congress via confidential channels.
“During the course of this investigation, we have received protected whistleblower disclosures that the FBI is engaging in a ‘purge’ of employees with conservative views by revoking their security clearances and indefinitely suspending these employees,” Jordan wrote in the letter.
Jordan’s letter also indicated that he had obtained information suggesting Moore has “retaliated against at least one whistleblower who has made protected disclosures to Congress.”
The Republican lawmaker told Fox News in an earlier interview that over a dozen FBI whistleblowers have come to him and his Republican colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee with allegations of FBI misconduct.
In that interview, Jordan said the whistleblower had notified the committee about Department of Justice efforts last year to establish a tagging system for parents at school board meetings to identify threats against faculty members.
Separately, suspended FBI whistleblower Steve Friend alleged political bias at the agency over its handling of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach probe.
Friend wrote in a declaration made public on Sept. 26 that the FBI had been using heavy-handed tactics on some suspects in the Jan. 6 incident, citing a case in which a SWAT team was used to make an arrest on misdemeanor charges, which he called “inappropriate.”
The whistleblower also accused the agency of violating the Justice Department’s guidelines for the FBI’s domestic investigations (pdf) by resorting to “atypical” procedures in the handling of Jan. 6, 2021, probes.
Friend’s lawyer told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that Friend is still employed by the FBI but remains suspended without pay.
‘Protected Against Retaliation’
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who released Friend’s whistleblowing declaration, accused the FBI of retaliation.
The FBI stated in an earlier email to The Epoch Times that it had received the letter from Grassley and Johnson and that whistleblowers are “protected against retaliation.”
“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,” an FBI spokesperson wrote.
“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.”
Following Jordan’s interview on Fox News, the FBI told the outlet that it does not retaliate against whistleblowers.
“The FBI does not target or take adverse action against employees for exercising their First Amendment rights or for their political views; to allege otherwise is false and misleading,” an FBI spokesperson told Fox News. “The FBI is required to follow established policies and procedures, to include a thorough investigation, when suspending or revoking a security clearance.”
The agency added that it “takes very seriously” its responsibility to FBI whistleblowers who make protected disclosures.