A series of whistleblower allegations in recent weeks have added new wrinkles to the already mounting claims of bias within the nation’s intelligence community.
According to an affidavit by one unnamed FBI employee, the bureau’s deputy director told agents that they would lose their jobs for pointing out that the Jan. 6, 2021, protest on Capitol Hill received a disproportionately harsher response from the agency than did the widespread protests throughout the previous summer.
Paul Abbate, the whistleblower claimed, made it clear during a conference call with FBI special agents across the country “that anyone who questions the FBI’s response or his decisions regarding the response to Jan. 6 did not belong in the FBI and should find a different job — or something to that effect.”
The source said that he had been part of “hundreds” of similar teleconferences in the past and had “never seen a direct threat like that any other time.”
Abbate’s alleged rhetoric “was chilling and personal, communicating clearly that there would be consequences for anyone that questioned his direction,” the whistleblower added.
Tristan Leavitt, the whistleblower’s attorney, offered additional context in his own letter, explaining: “Abbate had heard that some employees were contrasting the FBI’s response to Jan. 6 with its failure to protect personnel and property, or to aggressively investigate interstate conspiracies and resulting damage, during the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.”
The lawyer went on to assert that Abbate’s threatening comment “was witnessed by numerous other FBI employees and constitutes evidence of intent to retaliate against any dissent,” adding that it “can be independently corroborated by dozens, if not hundreds, of other FBI employees.”
This is the year of the whistleblower. How else do we uncover the truth inside these agencies? Top FBI official made 'chilling' threat to agents questioning Jan. 6 cases, whistleblower claims | Just The News https://t.co/dJtih1e4BG
— Lara Logan (@laralogan) June 21, 2023
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the FBI was quick to issue a statement seeking to absolve Abbate of any wrongdoing.
“Throughout his 27-plus year career, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate has strongly supported the people and the work of the FBI, treating employees with dignity, compassion, and respect.”
As for the crux of the whistleblower’s complaint, the bureau claimed that agents “are free to take any concerns they have to FBI leaders” including Abbate.
“Any suggestion Deputy Abbate threatened to employees who disagreed about the handling of January 6 cases is categorically false,” the statement concluded.