FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, a 12-year-old SWAT team veteran, and veteran of the agency were reportedly suspended and stripped of his badge before being marched out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Florida. He refused to participate in an allegedly exaggerated and politicized raid or to take any actions that would violate agency policy or violate citizens’ rights.
This 37-year-old father of two is among 20 FBI whistleblowers who recently have come forward alleging that the FBI has become both significantly politicized and engaged in various cases of abuse, malpractices, and questionable tactics.
Complaint By The Whistleblower
Friend filed a claim for a whistleblower with Michael Horowitz (DOJ inspector general). The New York Post obtained a copy of the document and reported that Friend had described his involvement in investigations relating to January 6 protests.
These claims were reiterated in a September 19th letter from Rep. Jim Jordan (R.Ohio), ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary and FBI Dir. Christopher Wray.
#BREAKING: New whistleblower information reveals that the FBI is moving agents off of child sexual abuse investigations to instead pursue political investigations.
The whistleblower recounted being told that “child sexual abuse investigations were no longer an FBI priority.” pic.twitter.com/EBXrnVWhO6
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) September 20, 2022
The friend was allegedly told by a supervisor that domestic terrorism was more important than preventing child victimization. To work on J6 cases being sent from Washington, D.C., he was removed from the active investigation into child sexual exploitation.
He claimed the D.C. Field Office was manipulating the FBI’s case management protocol during subsequent investigations.
Jordan pointed out that cases are usually classified and labeled by the originating field office. “Leads may be “cut” to other offices in order to receive assistance in a specific geographical location. The FBI was accused of engaging in manipulative file practice, whereby it distributed J6 files to local field offices in the country to generate “false and misleading crime statistics.” ”
Jordan cites Friend’s complaint as saying instead of hundreds of investigations arising out of a single incident at the Capitol the FBI [Department of Justice] officials point to significant increases in domestic violent extremism and terrorist activity around the United States.
Jordan stated the FBI’s case categorization gives an impression that threats from “domestic violent extremism” (or DVE), are present in jurisdictions throughout America. However, they all stem from the exact same investigation into the Capitol actions of Jan 6.
The FBI leadership could misleadingly point out “significant” increases of DVE threats in the country through this alleged “artificial categorization scheme”.
Last year, the FBI stated that they believed “anti-government violent extremists” would “likely pose most domestic terrorist threats through 2021 and possibly beyond.” ”
After citing the doubled FBI domestic terror investigations in March 2020, the DOJ created a special unit to fight domestic terrorism. Matthew Olsen (Assistant Attorney General for National Security) repeated earlier claims of a “growing danger” from “extremist antigovernment or antiauthority ideologies.
Wray suggested that the number of 2021 DVE investigations would have increased “significantly” based upon what Friend claimed were altered statistics. Wray suggested that DVE had been “metastasizing across the country for some time now.” ”
The friend claimed he was the lead agent for cases in which he was not involved as an investigator. This was contrary to FBI policy.
The friend claimed that the agency used fake statistics to exaggerate a threat.
He claimed that FBI software had compiled “guardians”, which are investigative instruments resulting from both anonymous tips to the FBI tip line or data shared via Facebook. According to the social media platform, it is accused of collecting private conversations and messages from a private conversation.
The Post reported that the FBI claimed that the complaint also designated the Capitol as a restricted area. This is to justify further prosecutions.
The friend’s complaint showed that the FBI doesn’t just want peaceful protesters to be added to its list. It also indicated that the FBI’s Daytona Beach Branch is referring people to it for “investigation and arrest.” ”
Also, at least one officer is accused of having done surveillance and home inspections on people who weren’t in Washington, D.C., or the Capitol that day.
Jordan said that Friend’s complaint and dozens of others suggested that “it appears the FBI is more focused on classifying investigations to meet a woke Left agenda” and that “the FBI does not escape oversight or accountability.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 20, 2022
Keeping His Oath
The Post reported that Friend told Greg Federico, his senior resident agent supervisor, on August 19, that he believed it inappropriate to use an FBI SWAT Team for the arrest of a subject. Federico stated that the subject would likely be held in Washington D.C. for a prolonged period of time and face biased juries.
Federico allegedly told Friend that he advocated nonviolent, practical solutions after he said that he was sick. He then threatened “reprisal indirectly” and asked him how long he envisaged continuing to work for the FBI.
The friend said that he was called on August 23rd by senior Jacksonville officials, namely Assistant Special agents In Charge Coult Mariinsky and Sean Ryan. The alleged questioning of Friend over his refusal to participate in the raid on alleged misdemeanor criminals.
According to the Post, Friend said that he did not believe all those present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were guilty and that he believed that some innocent people had been wrongly convicted and prosecuted. Markovsky allegedly repeated false accusations about the Jan. 6, murder of Capitol police officers, and called Friend a “bad buddy.”
The friend claimed he was threatened by reprisal.
The friend informed him that he had refused to take part in the raid on August 24th and that he was deemed absent from work without leave. His pay was then withheld.
According to conversations with supervisors, Friend believed he faced as an outcast.
SherriOnks Special Agent In Charge, Jacksonville, allegedly told Friend that his views were a small portion of the FBI workforce.
Friend marched from the FBI field office at Daytona Beach, on September 19th. He said that he considers himself a conscientious objector and noted that his refusal of taking part in the raid on August 24th was informed in his “oath to uphold the Constitution”.
Keep the FBI Accountable
Jordan asked that the FBI send documentation and other information to Jordan in a September 19th letter. This included information about “the location and number of search warrants and arrest warrants executed [Washington Field Office span]
He stated that whistleblower disclosures of information to Congress are protected by law. The House Committee on the Judiciary will not tolerate any attempt at retaliation against whistleblowers.