Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is demanding an FBI briefing for members of Congress after a whistleblower report alleged agency retaliation against those who attended peaceful protests on Jan. 6, 2021.
“We have been alerted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation appears to be attempting to terminate the employment of FBI employees who were engaged in protected First Amendment activity on January 6, 2021,” Jordan wrote in a Friday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “According to several whistleblowers, the FBI is suspending the security clearances of FBI employees for their participation in protected First Amendment activity on January 6, 2021.”
Revocation of security clearances often signals the first step in employment termination as those clearances are required for agency personnel. On Wednesday, Jordan’s office received notice that the Department of Justice had opened a probe into whether the law enforcement agency is violating civil service laws by its conduct.
One employee, whose identity has been redacted, faces agency expulsion after three decades of service — 20 in the military and 10 with the FBI. The targeted individual is allegedly among several who attended public events in the capital with their spouses while on leave. Attendance at any and all events on Jan. 6, however, have become criminalized by House Democrats in collusion with the Biden administration, who have conflated peaceful White House demonstrations with the violence on Capitol Hill.
In October, President Joe Biden’s FBI blocked requests from Republican lawmakers to review the same material offered to Democrats related to the Capitol riot. The same agency began to target concerned parents who showed up at school board meetings to raise objections to extreme Covid-19 protocols and sexually explicit material in the classroom with domestic terrorism tags.
“Given these facts, it is extremely concerning that the FBI would seek to suspend the security clearances of these employees and begin the process to potentially terminate their employment altogether,” Jordan wrote on Friday. “Even more insulting is that the FBI would openly question the patriotism of long-time FBI employees, including at least one veteran, because they exercised their First Amendment rights on their personal time without breaking any laws.”
Jordan demanded that Wray offer lawmakers a full briefing on the issue by May 20.
UPDATE: The FBI sent the statement below at 12:39 p.m. EST.
While the FBI does not comment on specific personnel matters, under no circumstances would we take action against employees for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. All FBI employees understand that adherence to rigorous security policies and the highest standards of integrity are critical to fulfilling our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution of the United States.
However, the FBI also falsely claimed its illegal FISA warrants, which were based on made-up nonsense about President Trump being a Russian agent, were perfectly legal and true. The agency also insisted that Congress performing basic oversight of FISA malfeasance was a national security threat. Given all this, the FBI’s insistence that it isn’t targeting employees for exercising their First Amendment rights should be taken with a heaping pile of salt.