Another FBI whistleblower has alleged that the nation’s top domestic law enforcement agency has become politicized in recent years.
At a hearing of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, an FBI agent testified on February 10 that the agency was actively monitoring anti-abortion activists after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision last year, which overturned Roe v. Wade and gave states the sole right to regulate abortions.
The FBI assigned the tag “THREATSTOSCOTUS2022” to investigations into threats made against Supreme Court justices over the Dobbs ruling. However, the whistleblower, Special Agent Garret O’Boyle, said the agency “shifted” its use of the tag away from individuals outraged by the Dobbs decision and focused instead on the anti-abortion movement.
“When this threat tag came out, it was like, why are you focusing on pro-life people?” O’Boyle told the subcommittee, per a transcript of his testimony obtained by Fox News. “It’s pro-choice people who are the ones protesting or otherwise threatening violence in front of Supreme Court justices’ houses.”
O’Boyle said the FBI directed agents to investigate “pregnancy centers” — the type he described as “the antithesis to abortion clinics.” He said these orders “struck [him] as odd at the time.”
“If somebody is going to be threatened, it would be them, because people thought that abortion was suddenly outlawed, which … wasn’t the case either,” he explained. “It was just remanded back to the states.”
O’Boyle also claimed that he had been directed to divide a single domestic terrorism investigation into four cases, allegedly allowing the FBI to present a seemingly greater number of domestic terrorism cases to Congress.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, another whistleblower alleged that FBI agents were deploying terrorist tags for investigations into concerned parents participating in school board meetings across the country.
Such meetings at times were contentious, but Republican House members rebuked the FBI for the practice.
“Parents voicing their concerns at school board meetings are not domestic terrorists,” wrote current House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) back in October 2022.
The FBI drew further criticism after it was discovered that the agency identified “radical-traditionalist Catholics” as possible security threats to the country, prompting speculation that the FBI was possibly targeting certain Americans because of their religious beliefs.
The latest whistleblower, O’Boyle, said he believes that the FBI was using terrorist threat tags in a politicized manner. He also claimed he was suspended by the agency in retaliation for whistleblowing to Congress.
“[The FBI] was being weaponized against agents or anybody who wanted to step forward and talk about malfeasance inside the agency prior to this,” he told the subcommittee.
In a statement relayed to The Dallas Express by the FBI National Press Office, the agency claimed: “[W]e will vigorously pursue investigations of any threat or use of violence committed by someone who uses extremist views to justify their actions, regardless of motivation or what side of an issue that person is on. … We do not conduct investigations based on a person’s political or social views.”
The agency denied O’Boyle’s insinuation that it was directing agents to show more domestic terrorism casework.
“Any assertion that the FBI manipulates statistics on domestic terrorism cases is categorically false,” the statement continued.
“The FBI’s authority to investigate a case as domestic terrorism requires the existence of a potential federal criminal violation and the unlawful use or threat of force or violence to further political or social objectives,” the agency said. “We follow the facts of each case and will never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity.”