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Grassley: No, Subpoenas Aren’t Necessary To Protect FBI Whistleblowers

DOJ

‘You can’t prevent federal employees from talking directly to Congress. Period. Don’t even try.’

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In a prepared statement delivered on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, Sen. Chuck Grassley assured FBI employees they were safe to come forward to Congress to reveal problems within the bureau without retribution.

Unnamed FBI employees said they wanted to be subpoenaed before going to Congress about issues they saw on the job, because they feared backlash if they spoke out without being legally compelled to do so, according to a story published by The Daily Caller earlier this week. Grassley pointed out that federal law prohibits FBI higher-ups from firing or punishing employees who disclose information to Congress.

“Congress has the power of the purse, and the bureaucrats need to understand that funding for their salaries comes with strings attached,” Grassley said. “You can’t prevent federal employees from talking directly to Congress. Period. Don’t even try.”

“If unelected bureaucrats have so much contempt for an employee who voluntarily informs the people’s elected representatives of facts necessary to do oversight, then we still have a lot of work to do,” he added. “That kind of thinking is dangerous, and totally contrary to law.”

Grassley sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is currently embroiled in a battle with the Department of Justice over information pertaining to the ongoing, year-old investigation into President Trump and his campaign associates, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“No FBI agent or other government employee should be afraid to cooperate with Congress or the Inspector General,” Grassley said. “Any FBI agent who has information to provide or questions about their rights to provide it should not hesitate to reach out and ask.”