Growing List of Whistleblowers Reporting Reprisal Under Biden Administration

In just under two-and-a-half years of the Biden administration, a growing number of whistleblowers have come forward to allege serious misconduct from officials in the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and even the White House.

By law, whistleblowers are protected from retaliation. However, according to several recent whistleblowers, reprisal has been a common result for individuals who have come forward with allegations of misconduct under the current administration.

Below are some of the individuals who have blown the whistle on wrongdoing under the Biden administration and faced or feared punishment for doing so.

IRS Whistleblower

Last month, an unnamed IRS criminal supervisory agent alleged to Congress that the IRS was mishandling its investigation of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

In an April 19 letter, the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Lytle, wrote to Congress seeking legal protections for his client to provide further details about disclosures the agent had made internally at the IRS, to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Justice Department inspector general.

The disclosures, Lytle wrote, “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee” and involved unresolved conflicts of interest and examples of preferential treatment for political reasons.

Although the letter did not mention the younger Biden by name, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed in an April 20 interview with Fox News that the allegations were related to the federal probe of potential tax crimes committed by the president’s son—an investigation that has been ongoing since 2018.

Following the letter’s publication in the media, rumors swirled that the referenced political appointee was Attorney General Merrick Garland, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that the investigation into Hunter Biden would remain free of political influence.

However, on May 15, Lytle and Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt—who is also representing the whistleblower—revealed in a subsequent letter (pdf) to Congress that their client and his entire team had been removed from the investigation, allegedly at the request of the Justice Department.

The change, the attorneys said, was “clearly retaliatory” even though such reprisal violates federal law.

“[The whistleblower] is protected by 5 U.S.C. § 2302 from retaliatory personnel actions—including receiving a significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions’ (which this clearly is) because of his disclosures to Congress,” Lytle and Leavitt wrote.

Requesting action from Congress, they added, “Removing the experienced investigators who have worked this case for years and are now the subject-matter experts is exactly the sort of issue our client intended to blow the whistle on to begin with.”

FBI Whistleblowers

Meanwhile, dozens of FBI employees have come forward in recent years to disclose misconduct they allegedly witnessed within the bureau.

In a May 18 report (pdf), the House Judiciary Committee detailed some of that misconduct, including the bureau’s questionable methods in investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, the improper reclassification of cases to the category of “domestic violent extremism,” the offering of financial incentives for opening more investigations, and the FBI’s retaliation against protected whistleblowers.

Testifying before the committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on May 18, FBI Special Agent Garrett O’Boyle, former Special Agent Stephen Friend, and Staff Operations Specialist Marcus Allen shared how the FBI treated them for expressing different views and voicing their concerns.

In O’Boyle’s case, he was suspended after relaying his concerns about the FBI’s internal incentive structure to a supervisor.

“In a weaponized fashion, the FBI allowed me to accept orders to a new position halfway across the country,” he recalled. “They allowed us to sell my family’s home. They ordered me to report to the new unit when our youngest daughter was two weeks old. Then, on my first day on the new assignment, they suspended me, rendering my family homeless.”

O’Boyle added that the FBI refused to release his family’s belongings, including their clothing, for weeks.

Likewise, Friend had his security clearance revoked for objecting to the inflation of domestic violent extremism case numbers and the use of SWAT teams to arrest Jan. 6 suspects.

Ultimately, the loss of Friend’s security clearance gave way to his indefinite suspension. At that point, the FBI refused to allow him to seek alternative employment, leaving his family without an income.

Allen, meanwhile, had his security clearance revoked and was suspended simply for performing the duties of his job, which was to conduct research using news articles and send search results to his team members.

Each whistleblower expressed the feeling that they had been wrongfully retaliated against. And for O’Boyle, that retaliation was oppressive enough that when asked what advice he had for other agents considering coming forward, he said he would advise them against it.

“The FBI will crush you,” he explained. “This government will crush you and your family if you try to expose the truth about things that they are doing that are wrong. We are all examples of that.”

Prior to the committee hearing, the FBI defended revoking the agents’ security clearances in a letter obtained by Fox News, citing their alleged support for “alternative theories” about the bureau’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, participation in “unapproved” media interviews, and other security concerns.

Biden Whistleblower

Another whistleblower that has made waves in recent weeks is the unnamed individual who has alleged that Joe Biden was involved in a pay-to-play bribery scheme with a foreign national while serving as vice president.

According to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, the criminal activity is detailed in an FBI informant’s report that the whistleblower revealed the existence of to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office.

Although the committee subpoenaed the FBI for the document earlier this month, the bureau has yet to comply with that order, citing security risks for the informant who authored the report.

On May 19, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray to express that the continued delay in producing the form was “unacceptable.”

“The Committee has already offered a reasonable accommodation to address the FBI’s stated confidentiality concerns but the FBI to date has refused to meaningfully engage in discussions about how the Committee can obtain the information that it needs,” Comer said in the letter (pdf). “Instead, it has sought to change the subject by offering to provide the Committee with information it has not requested.”

In a statement, the congressman added: “The FBI must provide this record to Congress without further delay. The American people demand the truth and accountability for any wrongdoing. That starts with getting this record.”

But in addition to difficulties obtaining information from the FBI, another obstacle the Oversight Committee probe has faced is contacting whistleblowers, according to Comer.

In a recent interview with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo, Comer noted that an unspecified whistleblower connected to the Biden bribery allegations was “missing.”

“Nine of the 10 people that we’ve identified that have very good knowledge with respect to the Bidens, they’re one of the three things, Maria: They’re either currently in court, they’re currently in jail, or they’re currently missing,” he said.

Adding that some whistleblowers had been intimidated by the White House and the media, Comer stressed, “It’s of the utmost importance that the FBI work with us to be able to try to identify what research they’ve done, what investigations they’ve done, because we have people that want to come forward, but honestly, Maria, they fear for their lives.”

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