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Jim Jordan's Weaponization Hearing Descends Into Shouting Match

Nikki McCann Ramirez
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Jim Jordan on GOP ‘Whistleblowers’ Getting Paid by Ex-Trump Adviser: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A House hearing descended into chaos Thursday, with Jordan shouting down members who questioned violations of committee rules
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio,  conducts the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to "examine abuses seen at the Bureau and how the FBI has retaliated against whistleblowers," in Rayburn Building on Thursday, May 18, 2023. FBI whistleblowers testified. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) conducts the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, on May 18, 2023. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claims he has testimony from “dozens” of whistleblowers who’ve provided him with proof that the FBI is unfairly persecuting conservatives. This doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

The first three of these witnesses whose testimony Jordan received were not really “whistleblowers,” but disaffected former FBI employees receiving financial backing from former President Trump’s ally and advisor Kash Patel. None of them have been given whistleblower protection status by the Department of Justice. 

Jordan held a hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday that featured two of these witnesses. During the hearing, Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.) confronted suspended FBI agent Garret O’Boyle and former agent Steve Friend as to whether they had received payments from Patel. Both admitted they had.

When reporters asked Jordan about the financial ties of his sources, the congressman deflected. “They’ve got a family! How are they supposed to feed their family?” Jordan told reporters before the hearing. 

Friend was suspended by the FBI after refusing to participate in cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He was also one of three agents who had their security clearances revoked by the FBI, in his case for having “espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol” and downloading documents to “an unauthorized removable flash drive.” 

During questioning, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D- Va.) displayed tweets from the witnesses espousing conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot, including that undercover federal agents had been responsible for the attack. 

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1659222608397598722?s=20 

Despite their best efforts, Democrats were largely flying blind when it comes to their questioning of witnesses, as Jordan refused to grant them access to testimony in what Democrats contend is a violation of House rules. 

As previously reported by Rolling Stone, the denial of access to Democrats may be a result of witnesses’ own inability to answer questions about the alleged wrongdoings they witnessed, and defend their own statements on social media. In transcript of an interview conducted by the committee in February with former FBI supervisory intelligence analyst George Hill, Hill admitted he had no firsthand knowledge of “deep state” scandals and conspiracies involving the FBI.

“Clearly there is room to grow and improve before [more] public hearings,” on Republican source told Rolling Stone at the time, adding that broadcasting the committees work so far “on live television would make us look like morons.”

Thursdays hearing showed little development. Jordan verbally sparred with multiple Democratic members of the committee who pushed back on Jordan’s claims that he would not be sharing evidence with the minority because his witnesses asked him not to. “I find it incredible that evidence that one side has garnered is not going to be shared with the other side. That’s not how committees work,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), calling the hearing a charade to “normalize the events on Jan. 6.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) also questioned his withholding of testimony. “It is my understanding that the minority in this committee, under the rules, is entitled to the same testimony, information, documents, that the majority is entitled,” she said. “I’m not aware that you’re able to withhold information from the minority. 

Jordan claimed that the witnesses’ status as “whistleblowers” precluded Democrats from viewing their testimony. 

“These individuals have been determined not to be whistleblowers,” Wasserman-Schultz responded. “They’ve been determined by the agency not to be whistleblowers. Are you deciding that they’re whistleblowers?” 

When Goldman asked Jordan to point to an exception in the rules that would allow him to withhold evidence, Jordan deflected. “The whistleblower doesn’t make committee rules sir,” Goldman responded.  

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This is the biggest farce ever.  A true clown show.

First, these guys aren't "whistleblowers".  They are disgruntled election deniers and insurrection supporters who posted on social media about it.

They lost their security clearances and were fired by the FBI for publicly supporting the "stop the steal" MAGA insurrection.

Well, yeah.    :-\:-\:-\

Edited by homersapien
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7 hours ago, homersapien said:

This is the biggest farce ever.  A true clown show.

First, these guys aren't "whistleblowers".  They are disgruntled election deniers and insurrection supporters who posted on social media about it.

They lost their security clearances and were fired by the FBI for publicly supporting the "stop the steal" MAGA insurrection.

Well, yeah.    :-\:-\:-\

So many lies in a single post. Why am I not surprised? :homer:

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1 hour ago, homersapien said:

Start with just one.

I'll demonstrate how wrong you are.

My pleasure. Should be entertaining.

1) Prove legally they aren't whistleblowers. Not some biased opinion that has no basis in legal standard.

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On 5/19/2023 at 10:00 AM, homersapien said:

This is the biggest farce ever.  A true clown show.

First, these guys aren't "whistleblowers".  They are disgruntled election deniers and insurrection supporters who posted on social media about it.

They lost their security clearances and were fired by the FBI for publicly supporting the "stop the steal" MAGA insurrection.

Well, yeah.    :-\:-\:-\

It certainly appears that way.  Amazing what can happen to educated, intelligent adults after ingesting the right wing political lies.  Amazing how the anger continues to build even after the "facts" are proven false.

But,,, I don't see anything wrong with congress presenting paid witnesses.  :rolleyes:   Everyone should get a share at the graft.

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3 hours ago, AUFAN78 said:

My pleasure. Should be entertaining.

1) Prove legally they aren't whistleblowers. Not some biased opinion that has no basis in legal standard.

https://whistleblower.house.gov/best-practice-whistleblower-legislation-standards

 

https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/18/politics/whistleblower-hearing-jim-jordan/index.html

"Three self-described FBI whistleblowers, who are key to the Republican narrative that the FBI is weaponized against conservatives, testified at a House hearing Thursday, the latest escalation of Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s investigation into allegations of discrimination and bias within the FBI.

The hearing came one day after the FBI said it revoked the security clearances of three agents who either attended the January 6 2021, riot at the US Capitol or espoused alternate theories about the Capitol attack, according to a letter the FBI sent the subcommittee on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by CNN. At least two of those agents – Marcus Allen and Steve Friend – were among the individuals testifying before the panel on Thursday.

Jordan, an Ohio Republican, has long touted the allegations of what he claims are “dozens” of whistleblowers who serve as the basis for his committee’s assertions that the FBI and Justice Department have become increasingly politicized in recent years. But the first individuals who sat for closed-door interviews with Jordan’s subcommittee earlier this year, including two of the whistleblowers who will appear publicly at the hearing Thursday, became an early flashpoint in the panel’s investigation, with Democrats raising questions about their legitimacy as whistleblowers and the credibility of their testimony.

During the hearing, Republicans framed the whistleblowers as courageous for coming forward with their claims and argued what they have to say is important. Democrats, on the other hand, raised concerns about their access to information about some of those claims and questioned the credibility of the individuals testifying.

Del. Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the weaponization subcommittee, pressed Jordan during the hearing on whether Democrats can get access to the testimony from Allen’s interview with GOP members of the committee. But much to the dismay of Democrats, Jordan would not budge on providing the interview transcript or video.

Jordan said Allen wasn’t comfortable including Democrats in his interview and said Democrats aren’t entitled to all the evidence collected when it comes to whistleblowers.

“These are not whistleblowers,” Plaskett shot back. “The law has not determined they are whistleblowers. His attorney is just asserting that.”

“We can talk about the testimony, but right now, you’re not getting the testimony,” Jordan said.

“I find it incredible that evidence that one side has garnered is not going to be shared with the other side,” said Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez. “That’s now how committees work.”

The four witnesses

Jordan said at a news conference ahead of the hearing that he was not surprised the FBI revoked the security clearances of two of the individuals testifying.

“We actually expected it. We’re surprised it took them that long to put up this letter about these guys, but you’ll get to hear from these individuals today, these brave Americans,” Jordan said in a response to a question from CNN.

Allen, an FBI staff operations specialist, had his security clearance suspended in January 2022 after voicing support for the January 6, 2021, insurrection of the US Capitol, according to a copy of the suspension letter sent to Allen and obtained by CNN.

Allen has filed a lawsuit against FBI Director Christopher Wray claiming that the agency has violated his constitutional rights and has falsely accused him of holding “conspiratorial views.”

Del. Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the weaponization subcommittee, pressed Jordan during the hearing on whether Democrats can get access to the testimony from Allen’s interview with GOP members of the committee. But much to the dismay of Democrats, Jordan would not budge on providing the interview transcript or video.

Jordan said Allen wasn’t comfortable including Democrats in his interview and said Democrats aren’t entitled to all the evidence collected when it comes to whistleblowers.

“These are not whistleblowers,” Plaskett shot back. “The law has not determined they are whistleblowers. His attorney is just asserting that.”

“We can talk about the testimony, but right now you’re not getting the testimony,” Jordan said.

The FBI officially revoked Allen’s security clearance on May 3 and listed a variety of reasons for doing so, including a September 29, 2021, email in which Allen called on FBI officials to exercise “extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of” January 6, according to a copy of the letter.

Allen also claimed to not find open source information about a subject who was allegedly involved in criminal activity at the Capitol on January 6, but a separate FBI employee later found that the subject in question physically assaulted Capitol Police officers during the attack.

In revoking his security clearance, the FBI said its investigation showed Allen had “questionable judgment, unreliability, and unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations,” indicating that he could not properly safeguard classified or sensitive information.”

President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton, whose group filed a lawsuit on Allen’s behalf, said in a statement to CNN, “Mr. Allen was a top employee of the FBI. And he was punished because he was doing his job. And I think Americans are going to see an American hero who was just trying to do the right thing and got his head handed to him.”

Friend, a former FBI agent working out of Florida, had his security clearance suspended in September 2022 for objecting to using a SWAT team to arrest a subject whom the FBI said was at the Capitol illegally on January 6. Friend, in a previous interview with CNN, said the force was unnecessary against an individual who had committed a misdemeanor offense.

As CNN previously reported, Friend filed a whistleblower complaint to the Justice Department inspector general and a claim with the US Office of Special Counsel following his suspension, the function of which is to protect federal employees making whistleblower complaints. His claims were eventually rejected by both entities.

Friend had his security clearance revoked by the FBI on May 16, according to the letter obtained by CNN. In explaining its decision, the FBI revealed that Friend “entered FBI space and downloaded documents from FBI computer systems to an unauthorized removable flash drive” on September 3, 2022. Friend also participated in “multiple, unapproved media interviews, including an interview with a Russian government news agency” and recorded a meeting with FBI management that may have violated Florida state law, the FBI wrote. The FBI said it made its decision to revoke Friend’s security clearance after interviewing Friend, his coworkers and a review of Friend’s social media activity.

Rachel Semmel, the spokesperson for the Center for Renewing America, where Friend is a senior fellow, told CNN, “It’s no secret that Steve’s courage and honesty is a threat to the FBI’s corruption which is why they’re rolling out their best lies and misinformation.”

Both Allen and Friend have 30 days to request reconsideration of the FBI’s decision.

Suspended FBI agent Garret O’Boyle has not revealed his direct disclosures or FBI suspension notice to House Democrats, according to transcripts reviewed by CNN. When asked about his allegations against the FBI during his closed-door interview with the weaponization subcommittee earlier this year, O’Boyle said they were confidential.

The fourth individual testifying on Thursday is Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight – an organization that is legally representing a series of whistleblowers who are in communication with Congress, including Friend.

Leavitt previously worked in the Office of the Special Counsel under Trump, where he says he helped reform the office’s whistleblower disclosure program.

The hearing comes as House Republicans look to ramp up pressure on the FBI executive assistant director of human resources, Jennifer Leigh Moore, after her first voluntary interview, according to a letter provided exclusively to CNN.

Republicans have claimed that Moore was part of a “purge” of FBI employees with conservative views and that issuing her a subpoena is justified because she refused to answer questions in her first interview with the panel. According to an FBI letter obtained by CNN, Moore offered to appear for an interview a day before the hearing – when she could share more information about specific cases – and the committee opted not to proceed with the follow-up interview.

Moore also shared that she has the security clearances of approximately 38,000 employees under her purview and only 32 are currently on suspension, according to an excerpt of her transcript provided exclusively to CNN. Moore said roughly 50 security incidents come in a week, which has been “pretty much” standard in recent years."

end of article

 

So, NO actual evidence has been presented that supports the assertion these people qualify as "whistleblowers".  NOTHING.

Furthermore, the DOJ has refused to grant them whistle blower status.  Complaining about being fired for cause does not legally make one a "whistleblower".

So their present legal status is they are not whistleblowers, ipso facto.

Maybe NOLA or Didba will weigh in and point out where I'm wrong.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, homersapien said:

https://whistleblower.house.gov/best-practice-whistleblower-legislation-standards

 

https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/18/politics/whistleblower-hearing-jim-jordan/index.html

Three self-described FBI whistleblowers, who are key to the Republican narrative that the FBI is weaponized against conservatives, testified at a House hearing Thursday, the latest escalation of Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s investigation into allegations of discrimination and bias within the FBI.

The hearing came one day after the FBI said it revoked the security clearances of three agents who either attended the January 6 2021, riot at the US Capitol or espoused alternate theories about the Capitol attack, according to a letter the FBI sent the subcommittee on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by CNN. At least two of those agents – Marcus Allen and Steve Friend – were among the individuals testifying before the panel on Thursday.

Jordan, an Ohio Republican, has long touted the allegations of what he claims are “dozens” of whistleblowers who serve as the basis for his committee’s assertions that the FBI and Justice Department have become increasingly politicized in recent years. But the first individuals who sat for closed-door interviews with Jordan’s subcommittee earlier this year, including two of the whistleblowers who will appear publicly at the hearing Thursday, became an early flashpoint in the panel’s investigation, with Democrats raising questions about their legitimacy as whistleblowers and the credibility of their testimony.

During the hearing, Republicans framed the whistleblowers as courageous for coming forward with their claims and argued what they have to say is important. Democrats, on the other hand, raised concerns about their access to information about some of those claims and questioned the credibility of the individuals testifying.

Del. Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the weaponization subcommittee, pressed Jordan during the hearing on whether Democrats can get access to the testimony from Allen’s interview with GOP members of the committee. But much to the dismay of Democrats, Jordan would not budge on providing the interview transcript or video.

Jordan said Allen wasn’t comfortable including Democrats in his interview and said Democrats aren’t entitled to all the evidence collected when it comes to whistleblowers.

“These are not whistleblowers,” Plaskett shot back. “The law has not determined they are whistleblowers. His attorney is just asserting that.”

“We can talk about the testimony, but right now, you’re not getting the testimony,” Jordan said.

“I find it incredible that evidence that one side has garnered is not going to be shared with the other side,” said Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez. “That’s now how committees work.”

The four witnesses

Jordan said at a news conference ahead of the hearing that he was not surprised the FBI revoked the security clearances of two of the individuals testifying.

“We actually expected it. We’re surprised it took them that long to put up this letter about these guys, but you’ll get to hear from these individuals today, these brave Americans,” Jordan said in a response to a question from CNN.

Allen, an FBI staff operations specialist, had his security clearance suspended in January 2022 after voicing support for the January 6, 2021, insurrection of the US Capitol, according to a copy of the suspension letter sent to Allen and obtained by CNN.

Allen has filed a lawsuit against FBI Director Christopher Wray claiming that the agency has violated his constitutional rights and has falsely accused him of holding “conspiratorial views.”

Del. Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the weaponization subcommittee, pressed Jordan during the hearing on whether Democrats can get access to the testimony from Allen’s interview with GOP members of the committee. But much to the dismay of Democrats, Jordan would not budge on providing the interview transcript or video.

Jordan said Allen wasn’t comfortable including Democrats in his interview and said Democrats aren’t entitled to all the evidence collected when it comes to whistleblowers.

“These are not whistleblowers,” Plaskett shot back. “The law has not determined they are whistleblowers. His attorney is just asserting that.”

“We can talk about the testimony, but right now you’re not getting the testimony,” Jordan said.

The FBI officially revoked Allen’s security clearance on May 3 and listed a variety of reasons for doing so, including a September 29, 2021, email in which Allen called on FBI officials to exercise “extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of” January 6, according to a copy of the letter.

Allen also claimed to not find open source information about a subject who was allegedly involved in criminal activity at the Capitol on January 6, but a separate FBI employee later found that the subject in question physically assaulted Capitol Police officers during the attack.

In revoking his security clearance, the FBI said its investigation showed Allen had “questionable judgment, unreliability, and unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations,” indicating that he could not properly safeguard classified or sensitive information.”

President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton, whose group filed a lawsuit on Allen’s behalf, said in a statement to CNN, “Mr. Allen was a top employee of the FBI. And he was punished because he was doing his job. And I think Americans are going to see an American hero who was just trying to do the right thing and got his head handed to him.”

Friend, a former FBI agent working out of Florida, had his security clearance suspended in September 2022 for objecting to using a SWAT team to arrest a subject whom the FBI said was at the Capitol illegally on January 6. Friend, in a previous interview with CNN, said the force was unnecessary against an individual who had committed a misdemeanor offense.

As CNN previously reported, Friend filed a whistleblower complaint to the Justice Department inspector general and a claim with the US Office of Special Counsel following his suspension, the function of which is to protect federal employees making whistleblower complaints. His claims were eventually rejected by both entities.

Friend had his security clearance revoked by the FBI on May 16, according to the letter obtained by CNN. In explaining its decision, the FBI revealed that Friend “entered FBI space and downloaded documents from FBI computer systems to an unauthorized removable flash drive” on September 3, 2022. Friend also participated in “multiple, unapproved media interviews, including an interview with a Russian government news agency” and recorded a meeting with FBI management that may have violated Florida state law, the FBI wrote. The FBI said it made its decision to revoke Friend’s security clearance after interviewing Friend, his coworkers and a review of Friend’s social media activity.

Rachel Semmel, the spokesperson for the Center for Renewing America, where Friend is a senior fellow, told CNN, “It’s no secret that Steve’s courage and honesty is a threat to the FBI’s corruption which is why they’re rolling out their best lies and misinformation.”

Both Allen and Friend have 30 days to request reconsideration of the FBI’s decision.

Suspended FBI agent Garret O’Boyle has not revealed his direct disclosures or FBI suspension notice to House Democrats, according to transcripts reviewed by CNN. When asked about his allegations against the FBI during his closed-door interview with the weaponization subcommittee earlier this year, O’Boyle said they were confidential.

The fourth individual testifying on Thursday is Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight – an organization that is legally representing a series of whistleblowers who are in communication with Congress, including Friend.

Leavitt previously worked in the Office of the Special Counsel under Trump, where he says he helped reform the office’s whistleblower disclosure program.

The hearing comes as House Republicans look to ramp up pressure on the FBI executive assistant director of human resources, Jennifer Leigh Moore, after her first voluntary interview, according to a letter provided exclusively to CNN.

Republicans have claimed that Moore was part of a “purge” of FBI employees with conservative views and that issuing her a subpoena is justified because she refused to answer questions in her first interview with the panel. According to an FBI letter obtained by CNN, Moore offered to appear for an interview a day before the hearing – when she could share more information about specific cases – and the committee opted not to proceed with the follow-up interview.

Moore also shared that she has the security clearances of approximately 38,000 employees under her purview and only 32 are currently on suspension, according to an excerpt of her transcript provided exclusively to CNN. Moore said roughly 50 security incidents come in a week, which has been “pretty much” standard in recent years.

-------------------

It seems to me that NO case has been presented that supports the assertion these people qualify as "whistleblowers".  NOTHING.

So the legal status at present is they are not whistleblowers. ipso facto.

Maybe NOLA or Didba will weigh in and point out where I'm (legally) wrong.

 

 

 

You did precisely what I knew you would and even cautioned against. You proved nothing and simply cited opinion and innuendo. You are easily one of the most predictable minions on this forum. 

Oh and by the way, Thank you for playing. :laugh:

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3 hours ago, AUFAN78 said:

You did precisely what I knew you would and even cautioned against. You proved nothing and simply cited opinion and innuendo. You are easily one of the most predictable minions on this forum. 

Oh and by the way, Thank you for playing. :laugh:

Exactly. I cited opinion an innuendo - all coming from Jordan and the Republicans.

Actual qualifying evidence has not been presented.  Jordan implies such evidence exists, but he is refusing to present it.

Therefore, they are not "whistle blowers" at least until such evidence is presented and a legal ruling made.

I am right.  "Whistleblowers" my ass. :-\

This is just cheap political theater that insults any thinking person.  You are nothing but a useful fool for allowing yourself to be taken in by it.

 

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21 minutes ago, homersapien said:

Exactly. I cited opinion an innuendo - all coming from Jordan and the Republicans.

Actual qualifying evidence has not been presented.  Jordan implies such evidence exists, but he is refusing to present it.

Therefore, they are not "whistle blowers" at least until such evidence is presented and a legal ruling made.

I am right.  "Whistleblowers" my ass. 

This is just cheap political theater that insults any thinking person.  You are nothing but a useful fool for allowing yourself to be taken in by it.

 

That is inaccurate and you know it. 

The witnesses have produced hundreds of pages of q&a from both sides of the aisle.

You don't get to decide that. Tristan Leavitt is the only expert on whistleblowers in this hearing. You should listen to his testimony.

Hardly.

I wish you did think vs. towing the partisan line. 

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24 minutes ago, AUFAN78 said:

That is inaccurate and you know it. 

The witnesses have produced hundreds of pages of q&a from both sides of the aisle.

You don't get to decide that. Tristan Leavitt is the only expert on whistleblowers in this hearing. You should listen to his testimony.

Hardly.

I wish you did think vs. towing the partisan line. 

Cite a specific piece of evidence or testimony that would qualify them legally as whistle blowers.

 

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2 hours ago, homersapien said:

Cite a specific piece of evidence or testimony that would qualify them legally as whistle blowers.

 

I rely on expert testimony from Tristan Leavitt, not some political hack. You should listen to his testimony.

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You have to love a system in which the judges are paid off by right wing political donors and,,, so are the witnesses. 

Fair, impartial, unbiased, just,,, only in the eyes of the Fascist Federalist Society.

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