House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s, R-Ohio, Thursday hearing with purported FBI “whistleblowers” backfired before it even began, according to former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuizzi.
Jordan’s subcommittee on the alleged “weaponization of the federal government” held a hearing with current and former FBI agents who accused the bureau of bias against conservatives. But shortly before the hearing, the FBI revealed that former FBI agent Stephen Friend and suspended agent Marcus Allen had their security clearances revoked over security concerns.
Friend’s clearance was revoked after he refused to participate in an arrest of a Jan. 6 suspect and “espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol,” according to the FBI’s letter. Allen’s clearance was stripped after he “expressed sympathy for persons or organizations that advocate, threaten or use force or violence.”
Figliuzzi told MSNBC that the revelation shows “Jordan wasn’t ready for this.”
“The FBI has called his bluff with this letter,” he said. “It means the FBI has about had it with the myth that they’re retaliating against employees for merely expressing conservative opinions. I lost the date, but apparently, we’re to believe the FBI is a left-wing liberal organization. That’s absolutely nonsense.”
Figliuzzi slammed Jordan and the purported whistleblowers.
“What Jim Jordan was going to do was put out a fictional account, right, [that] these poor, pathetic employees have lost their jobs because they merely expressed contrary opinions to the deep state FBI,” he said. “In my 25 years at the bureau, including positions as chief inspector and a chief of an [Office of Professional Responsibility] internal affairs unit, I have never seen this much come out, and it shows the absolute disgrace that these employees have made of their roles and their missions.”
Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, tweeted that the letter pulled the “rug out from under Jim Jordan’s witnesses,” noting the “very serious wrongdoing” alleged in the letter.
The FBI has rejected the GOP’s claims that the agents qualify as protected “whistleblowers” and Friend and suspended FBI special agent Garrett O’Boyle on Thursday testified that they both received money from Trump ally Kash Patel. Friend characterized the money as a “donation.”
“Are you a charitable organization?” questioned Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y.
“I was an unpaid, indefinitely suspended man trying to feed his family. And he’s reached out to me and said he wanted to give me a donation,” Friend replied.
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Figliuzzi told MSNBC that the agents thought they would get “empathy with employees who have been fired simply for expressing their opinion, which, of course, we know now is not true.”
He noted that Friend refused to arrest a man accused of using pepper spray against officers at the Capitol and was pictured wearing full tactical gear and holding an AR-15.
“And Stephen Friend suggests, what, that he’s cooperative, we should make an appointment for him to turn himself in,” Figliuzz said. “Really? You want that guy showing up in the reception room at the office? That’s fascinating. It’s those kinds of things that gloss over and they thought they would get away with it today, and they didn’t.”
about Jim Jordan