WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has alleged that – according to several whistleblowers from the agency – multiple employees who have engaged in “disfavored political speech” – meaning conservative viewpoints – have been ostracized to varying degrees, ranging from suspension without pay all the way to having their security clearances revoked.
The names and positions of the six whistleblowers, as well as the alleged victims of the FBI’s retaliation, were redacted in the Ohio lawmaker’s letter sent on Wednesday, copies of which were also sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Jordan alleged that some of the transgressions committed by the individuals who were subsequently punished included one veteran agent – who had earned multiple military commendation medals – who “espoused conspiratorial views” and “promoted unreliable information which indicates support” for the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, leading the bureau to question their “allegiance to the United States.”
The Republican Congressman claimed that the individual had never been the subject of any discipline proceedings, had been awarded by the bureau multiple times for his performance, and whose job performance had always been evaluated as “Exceeds Fully Successful,” which makes his punishment for simply exercising his right to free speech extremely worrisome, Jordan said.
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Another example that Jordan gave of retaliatory behavior against an employee for their viewpoints was an individual – who again never had any prior disciplinary problems – who purportedly criticized the bureau in an anonymous post-January 6 survey.
Jordan said that the whistleblowers that had come forward to him had referred to the FBI’s actions as a “purge” of employees who held “conservative views.” He also complained that a previous letter on the subject that had been sent to Wray on May 6 had been ignored.
“We are conducting oversight to ensure the FBI is not retaliating against FBI employees for exercising their First Amendment rights and engaging in disfavored political speech,” Jordan said in his letter. “We reiterate our earlier requests for your personal assurance that the FBI will cooperate fully with the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General’s examination of these matters and for a briefing on the FBI’s purge of employees holding disfavored viewpoints.”
Currently, it is unknown if Wray has responded to Jordan’s request for cooperation; however, an FBI spokesperson denied that the bureau was singling out conservatives on their staff for expressing their personally-held beliefs.
“Under no circumstances would we take action against employees for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” the spokesperson said. “All FBI employees understand that adherence to rigorous security policies and the highest standards of integrity are critical to fulfilling our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution of the United States.”