FBI special agent Stephen Friend made waves in Washington D.C. earlier this month when he came forward as a whistleblower, exposing the federal law enforcement agency for allegedly “creating a misleading impression about rising domestic terrorism figures stemming from the Capitol riot.”
Not surprisingly, FBI and DOJ brass were not fond of Friend pulling back the curtains. According to the Washington Examiner, Friend now claims he’s being punished as a result, in the form of an unfair suspension without pay.
The situation is so bad that Friend is already receiving heavy-hitting congressional support from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
The two GOP senators penned a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing their outrage that Friend is being retaliated against, which isn’t supposed to happen against official whistleblowers.
Blowing the whistle
Friend apparently touched a nerve at the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ, as a letter he wrote earlier this month essentially claimed the agencies are using the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to launch a “manipulative casefile practice.”
The Examiner explained:
Friend argued in a letter dated Sept. 21 that the FBI had implemented a “manipulative casefile practice” related to the Capitol riot that “creates false and misleading crime statistics.”
The outlet added:
He claimed, “Instead of hundreds of investigations stemming from an isolated incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, FBI and DOJ officials point to significant increases in domestic violent extremism and terrorism around the United States.”
Friend was not on board with what he was witnessing, and frankly told his bosses, prior to becoming a whistleblower, that he “would not participate in any of these operations.”
The Republican senators, in their joint letter, slammed DOJ and FBI brass for suspending the agent instead of granting his reasonable request to be transferred elsewhere.
“Ultimately, rather than reassigning Special Agent Friend other tasks as he requested, FBI leadership apparently made the choice to retaliate against and make an example of him,” Grassley and Johnson wrote.
They added: “FBI leadership suspended Special Agent Friend without pay, and suspended his security clearance without providing any evidence that he poses a legitimate security risk. They also confiscated his credentials, firearm, and badge, and escorted him out of the FBI field office.”
“The alleged actions by FBI senior leadership are unacceptable and send exactly the wrong message. The FBI should never suspend security clearances as a form of punishment or to retaliate against patriotic whistleblowers for stepping forward to report potential wrongdoing,” the GOP senators added.