(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:07 PM – Thursday, May 18, 2023
During a hearing on Thursday that featured a handful of officials and purported FBI whistleblowers, Representative Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, engaged in a heated dispute with Democrat representatives.
The FBI had informed the subcommittee in a letter on Wednesday that the agency had withdrawn the security clearances of three agents who had either participated in the Capitol breach on January 6th or those who promoted “controversial” opinions regarding it.
Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI) had an argument over prior evidence that one of the witnesses had provided to Republicans. Plaskett asked for a transcript of the conversation with the witness, FBI staff operations specialist Marcus Allen, as he had agreed to only talk with Republicans during a previous hearing.
Jordan turned down the request, which sparked a protracted debate on the committee’s procedures that involved several senators.
“I’m not aware that you’re able to withhold information from the minority that we would need to use,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), before being cut off by Jordan.
“When it comes to whistleblowers, you are not [entitled],” Jordan said, repeating the phrase as Wasserman Schultz protested.
“That’s not right,” interjected Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.).
“It’s shocking that the gentleman from New York would say that when you were part of an investigation with an anonymous whistleblower,” Jordan said.
During the initial impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump, Goldman acted as counsel.
“I’m inquiring—” Wasserman Schultz uttered.
“And I told you that when it comes to whistleblowers, you are not entitled. It is at the discretion of Mr. Allen,” Jordan maintained.
“Mr. Chairman, these individuals have been determined not to be whistleblowers… These are not whistleblowers. They have been determined by the agency not to be whistleblowers. Are you deciding that they’re whistleblowers?” Wasserman Schultz asked.
“Yes, the law decides. Did you not listen to [the testimony]?” Jordan answered.
Jordan doubled down, pushing through the grievances before allowing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to continue questioning.
In a report documenting the allegations made by multiple individuals who claimed to be FBI whistleblowers, Jordan and other Republicans on the committee asserted that the FBI had become “politicized rot.” Prior to the hearing, Jordan stated at a press conference that his committee interviewed more than twenty different FBI whistleblowers for the report.
The committee chairman stated that even though some of his whistleblowers had also benefited financially from a Trump ally, it should not cast doubt on their objectivity.
“If you’re a parent attending a school board meeting, if you’re a pro-lifer praying at a clinic, or you’re a Catholic simply going to mass, you are a target of the government, a target of the FBI,” Jordan said.
Additionally, he claimed that authorities tried to inflate their inquiries so that they would be treated as domestic terrorists and violent extremists.
Gaetz discussed whistleblower assertions that the D.C. field office was allegedly the source of much of the “rot” within the organization during his remarks at the news conference.
“A lot of the rot, the committee has learned, emerges out of headquarters, out of the Washington field office,” Gaetz said. “A whistleblower described the conflict that existed as the Washington field office put pressure on other field offices around the country to engage in law enforcement work without predication.”
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