FBI hero pays the price for exposing unjust ‘persecution’ of conservative Americans

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Bombshell allegations by FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, contained in a whistleblower complaint filed with the Justice Department’s inspector general late Wednesday, reveal a politicized FBI field office in Washington, DC, that is cooking the books over the threat of domestic exaggerating terrorism and an “overzealous” Jan. 6 investigation to harass conservative Americans and violate their constitutional rights.

Friend, 37, a respected 12-year FBI veteran and member of the SWAT team, was suspended Monday, stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted from the FBI’s field office in Daytona Beach, Florida, after he filed his complaint. complained. supervisors about the violations.

He was declared out of commission last month for refusing to participate in SWAT raids he believes were against FBI policy and used excessive force against Jan. 6 nationals charged with felony.

This American hero, father of two small children, has blown up his “dream career” because he couldn’t live with his conscience as he continued to be part of what he sees as the unjust persecution of conservative Americans.

“I have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he told regulators when he asserted his conscientious objection to participating in an Aug. 24 raid on a J6 subject in the Jacksonville, Florida area. “I have a moral objection and want to be considered a conscientious objector.”

Friend, who did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, said he twice told his immediate boss that he believed in the raid, and the investigative process that preceded it, was against FBI policy and the rights of the public. the subject under the Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial and the Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.

Friend was a member of the SWAT team.
Anna Friend

Multiple violations

In his whistleblower complaint to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz obtained by The Post, Friend describes multiple FBI policy violations related to J6 investigations in which he was involved.

He says he has been removed from active investigations into child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to work on J6 cases sent from DC. He was told that “domestic terrorism has a higher priority” than child pornography. As a result, he believes his investigation into child exploitation has been harmed.

He has also raised concerns about a politicized FBI to Republican members of Congress, among 20 agency whistleblowers who have filed similar complaints.

Among Friend’s allegations:

  • The Washington, DC field office is “manipulating” FBI case management protocol and outsourcing J6 cases to field offices across the country to create the false impression that right-wing domestic violence is a widespread national problem that extends far beyond the “black swan” event on January 6, 2021.
  • As a result, he was listed as a lead agent in cases he had not investigated and which his supervisor had not signed, in violation of FBI policy.
  • FBI domestic terrorism cases are opened against innocent American citizens who were nowhere near the Capitol on January 6, 2021, based on anonymous tips to an FBI hotline or from Facebook spying on their messages. These tips are turned into investigative tools called “guardians” after the FBI software that collects them.
  • The FBI has post-facto designated a grassy area outside the Capitol as a no-go zone, while not restricting it on Jan. 6, 2021, in order to broaden the net of prosecutions.
  • The FBI plans to prosecute anyone, even peripheral ties to J6 and a new wave of J6 nationals are about to be referred to the FBI’s Daytona Beach resident agency “for investigation and arrest.”
  • The Jacksonville area was “flooded” with “guardian” reports, and FBI agents were sent to monitor and knock on people’s doors, including those who were not in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, or who were going to the Trump had been demonstrating that day, but did not enter the Capitol.
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Friend says he was punished after complaining to his bosses about being dragged into J6 investigations that “violated citizens’ Sixth Amendment rights over overzealous accusations by the DOJ and biased jury pools in Washington, DC. “

His top secret security clearance was suspended last week because he ‘went into FBI space’ [his office] and downloaded documents from FBI computer systems [an employee handbook and guidelines for employee disciplinary procedures] to an unauthorized removable flash drive.”

US Capitol
FBI domestic terrorism cases are being opened against U.S. citizens who were nowhere near the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Friend claims.
Getty Images/Samuel Corum

In a Sept. 16 letter from the head of the FBI’s Human Resources Department, he was told that he was also losing his security clearance because he “adhered to beliefs that show questionable judgment.” [and demonstrated] an unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations.”

Retaliation from bosses

In his whistleblower complaint, Friend describes “retaliation” from his executives after voicing his conscientious objection.

He says they ignored his complaint about “manipulative file practices” [which] creates false and misleading crime statistics, which constitute false official federal statements.

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“Instead of hundreds of investigations into an isolated incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, FBI and DOJ officials point to a significant increase in domestic violent extremism and terrorism in the United States.

“At no point was I advised or advised of where to make my disclosure beyond the reprising officials above; the impending retaliation was a de facto joke about my whistleblowing.”

On August 19, he first told his immediate boss, Senior Resident Agent Greg Federico, that he believed “it was inappropriate to use an FBI SWAT team to arrest a subject for felony crimes and believed that the subject was likely to be held for extended periods and biased jury pools in Washington, DC.

“I suggested alternatives, such as issuing a subpoena or using surveillance groups to determine an optimal, safe time for a local sheriff to contact the subjects and advise them of the existence of the arrest warrant.”

Federico told him it would have been better to simply “call in sick” rather than voice his objection and “indirectly threaten reprisals by asking how long I saw myself working for the FBI.”

Steve Friend
Friend refused to participate in SWAT raids he said were against FBI policy and used excessive force against subjects on Jan. 6.
TBEN/John Minchillo

Four days later, Friend was called to Jacksonville to meet with his next bosses, Assistant Special Agents in Charge Coult Markovsky and Sean Ryan over his refusal to participate in the SWAT raid.

He told them of his concerns about the “irregular” handling of cases in J6 cases that he believed violated a legal rule known as “Brady” that requires prosecutors to release evidence that a defendant would exonerate.

They asked if he believed that J6 rioters had committed crimes and he replied, “Some people who entered the Capitol committed crimes, but others were innocent. I explained that I believed that some innocent individuals had been wrongly persecuted, convicted and convicted.”

Markovsky then asked Friend whether J6 rioters who “killed police officers” should be prosecuted, even though nothing like this happened. When Friend pointed out that “no police officers were killed on January 6, 2021,” Markovsky told him he was a “bad teammate.”

Both officers “threatened reprisals again by warning that my refusal” [to go on the SWAT raid] may amount to insubordination. Reference was made to my future career prospects with the FBI.”

Friend was labeled AWOL on the day the robbery occurred and was stripped of his wages.

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A week later, he was told to meet the top agent in Jacksonville, Special Agent in Charge Sherri Onks, who told him to do some “soul research” and decide if he wanted to work for the FBI.

When he told her that “many of my colleagues expressed similar concerns to me, but had not expressed their objections to FBI executive management,” she told him that his “views represented an extremely small minority of FBI personnel.”

She then shared the emotional experience of fearing her own life on January 6, 2021, as she sat on the seventh floor of the secure J. Edgar Hoover Building, FBI headquarters, after protesters a mile away “seized the Capitol and destroyed democracy.” of the United States.”

Agents used as ‘pawns’

Friend says his concerns are being shared with large numbers of ordinary FBI agents across the country who believe they are being used as pawns to pursue the political agenda of the bosses in Washington, DC.

This kind of abuse of the law is a “moral killer” for field agents, he says.

Many agents, who joined the FBI in the wake of 9/11, keep their heads low as they retire for nearly 20 years with full retirement. But he says they are equally disgusted by being forced to participate in the politicization of federal law enforcement.

Other whistleblowers say unrest grew after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida on Aug. 8.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who has teamed up with these heroic FBI agents, has attempted to pass legislation to bolster the agency’s woefully inadequate whistleblower protections. A friend’s complaint will be a test case.

FBI Director Christopher Wray
FBI Director Christopher Wray ignored Grassley’s letter accusing him of misdemeanor at the agency.
TBEN/Charlie Neibergall

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Aug. 11, Grassley claimed that a committee of FBI field agents had been with Wray to voice the concerns of agents in all 56 field offices across the country that “the FBI has become too politicized in its decision.” Grassley further claims that “these concerns have been removed from this year’s final report” by the FBI’s Special Agents Advisory Committee.

Wray ignored Grassley’s letter, along with a dozen other letters from the persistent Iowa senator who claimed gross malpractice at the agency.

But there is growing concern among agents in the field about the FBI’s arming against the Biden administration’s political opponents under Wray. He can’t ignore it for long.

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