FBI Accused of Threatening Jan. 6 Dissenters

Protestors clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors on January 6, 2021 | Image by lev radin/Shutterstock

The FBI threatened to fire agents for criticizing the bureau’s biased approach to investigating the January 6 Capitol protests, according to an agency whistleblower’s allegations.

The whistleblower reportedly claimed FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate threatened to fire employees who said the agency’s investigation into the events in the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, was notably different from its investigation into the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred throughout the nation following the killing of George Floyd.

The anonymous FBI whistleblower claimed in an affidavit to Congress that Abbate threatened employees during a February 2021 video teleconference with agents in charge of the bureau’s 56 field offices, one of which is in Dallas.

According to the affidavit, Abbate heard some employees were questioning the FBI’s response to January 6 and contrasting it “with the response to the post-George Floyd protests and riots in the summer of 2020.”

“Abbate told the audience that anyone who questions the FBI’s response to his decisions regarding the response to January 6th did not belong in the FBI and should find a different job,” the document alleges. “He stated that the FBI’s response to January 6th was consistent with the response to the Summer 2020 riots.”

The deputy director reportedly challenged all employees who did not agree to call him “personally and he would set them straight.”

The whistleblower added that they “have never seen a direct threat like that any other time.”

“It was chilling and personal, communicating clearly that there would be consequences for anyone that questioned his direction,” they shared.

The affidavit was sent to the House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, and DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

Tristan Leavitt, the whistleblower’s attorney, said in a letter accompanying the affidavit, “Abbate had heard that some employees were contrasting the FBI’s response to Jan. 6 with its failure to protect federal personnel and property, or to aggressively investigate interstate conspiracies and resulting damage, during the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.”

Furthermore, Leavitt claimed that multiple former FBI employees alleged they were fired for dissenting with the bureau’s approach to its January 6 investigation.

In a statement to The Dallas Express, the FBI denied these allegations and defended its deputy director.

“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,” the bureau said.

“Employees are free to take any concerns they have to FBI leaders, including the Deputy Director,” the statement continued. “Any suggestion Deputy Abbate threatened employees who disagreed about the handling of January 6 cases is categorically false.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the FBI unlawfully performed unwarranted data searches on Americans who participated in the Capitol protest on January 6 and the Black Lives Matter protests after the killing of George Floyd.

Furthermore, the FBI reportedly used phone location data from Google to indiscriminately identify thousands of individuals who were in or around the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, which The Dallas Express also covered.

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  1. The Trailblazing Patriot - […] is not the first time questions have arisen about potential overreach and even aggression by the FBI in the…

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