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Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said during a hearing on Thursday that a large number of FBI agents and staff have contacted him and others on the panel about mounting problems within the agency regarding politicization.
Jordan said “dozens” of agents have come forward to blow the whistle on upper management’s alleged efforts to redirect the agency’s focus, according to testimony before the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday, the Daily Caller reported.
“The two former agents, Thomas Baker and Nicole Parker, spoke on their experiences while working at the FBI. Parker said that she is enduring the stress of ‘putting a target’ on her back and testifying to speak on behalf of ‘numerous current and former bureau employees who feel similarly that they do not have a voice,'” the outlet’s report noted, quoting the former agent.
Jordan opened the hearing with an overview of FBI whistleblowers, which he said amounts to “dozens and dozens” of individuals.
“In my time in Congress, I have never seen anything like this,” Jordan noted during the hearing. “It’s not Jim Jordan saying this, not Republicans, not conservatives, good FBI agents who are willing to come forward and give us the truth.”
The Daily Caller noted further:
Jordan sampled a handful of these tips, spanning back to Nov. 18, 2021, when an FBI whistleblower alerted House Judiciary Republicans that the FBI had created a threat tag for parents expressing concern at school board meetings, and ranging to Nov. 4, 2022, when a whistleblower revealed the FBI accepts private user information from Facebook without user consent, according to a House Judiciary report.
Johnson said at the hearing that he expects many of the whistleblowers will sit for transcribed interviews or testify during future open hearings.
Baker, an agent of 33 years, said that the American public losing faith in the FBI “breaks my heart,” adding that the culture shift within the bureau was “deliberate” and put in place by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“The FBI director set out deliberately to change the culture of the FBI from a law enforcement agency to an intelligence-driven agency,” he said.
“The FBI, by urging Twitter to censor speech, which it could not itself do, was engaging in a perversion – a perversion of the First Amendment,” Baker later continued. “For most of FBI history, agents were trained as part of the FBI’s mission was to be a guarantor of the Bill of Rights. That has been turned on its head.”
Parker, meanwhile, added regarding her 12 years with the bureau: “Every day, I woke up and I embraced being an FBI special agent until things changed,” noting further that throughout her dozen years with the agency, it “transformed” and its principles “shifted dramatically.”
“The FBI became politically weaponized starting from the top in Washington and trickling down to the field offices,” Parker said.
“It’s as if there became two FBIs,” she added. “Americans see this, and it is destroying the bureau’s credibility, and therefore the hardworking and highly ethical agents who still do the heavy lifting and pursue noble cases.”
Last month, the FBI denied accusations from Republicans that it has purged conservative employees from its ranks under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Jordan sent several letters to the FBI alleging the agency removed critics of Biden and his administration from their posts. Jill Tyson, the FBI’s assistant director of its Office of Congressional Affairs, responded to Jordan’s accusations with a letter of her own.
“The FBI has strong procedures in place to promote accountability when an FBI employee strays from their obligations — including employee actions that create the appearance of political, social, or other bias. The FBI takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and that includes taking seriously our responsibility to FBI employees who make protected disclosures under the whistleblower regulations,” she wrote.
“It is important to emphasize that allegations against one or a very small number of employees do not reflect a widespread political bias or a lack of objectivity by the FBI’s 38,000 employees who perform their jobs objectively, rigorously, and with professionalism,” she wrote. “Nor do such allegations fairly call into question the FBI’s motivations and actions to fulfill its mission, which reflects the collective judgment and effort of our workforce.”