Republican senators have accused the FBI of retaliating against the whistleblower that has claimed that the agency is misleading domestic terrorism statistics.
Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the FBI agent that has raised concerns regarding cases that relate to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, has been wrongly disciplined. on Monday, asserting that bureau leadership wrongly disciplined an FBI agent who raised concerns about cases related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
In the letter, a copy of FBI Special Agent Stephen Friend’s whistleblower declaration was included. Friend has said that he has been suspended for speaking up and not participating in the Jan. 6 investigation. In the declaration, Friend said that the FBI had manipulated casefiles and created “false and misleading crime statistics.”
He also noted that instead of having multiple investigations all relating to the incident at the Capitol the FBI has instead noted an increase in extremism and terrorism cases in the United States. He also notes that he told his superiors that he would not participate in any more operations relating to the Jan. 6 cases.
Sens. Grassley and Johnson said that FBI leadership did not reassign Special Agent Friend as he had requested and instead chose to make an example of him by suspending him. This retaliatory move of suspending him leaves Friend without pay and his security clearance even though they have failed to show that Friend is a security risk.