FBI whistleblower: Agency manipulated Jan. 6 data to shape narrative

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By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE

A former FBI agent testified before Congress Thursday saying that the FBI manipulated data to make domestic terrorism linked to Jan. 6, 2021 seem like a nationwide phenomenon instead of an isolated incident.

The revelation came as part of a hearing held by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government where FBI whistleblowers testified before lawmakers about abuse and politicization of the FBI.

They also testified about backlash they received, even losing their jobs as retaliation for refusing to toe the narrative established by FBI leadership.

Steve Friend, a former FBI special agent who served five years on an FBI SWAT team and five years before that in local law enforcement in Georgia, made the claim about his former agency artificially inflating domestic terrorism data.

“Typically you would investigate Jan. 6 as one case with lots of subjects, but instead the decision was made to open up a separate case for every single individual there,” he said during the hearing. “And instead of, on paper, investigating them from the Washington field office, spreading and disseminating those to the field offices around the country, and if the individual lived in that area.”

“In effect,” he added. “It made it look like there was domestic terrorism cases and activities that were going on around the 56 field offices when in fact the cases were really all from Washington, D.C., and Washington had a task force that was responsible for calling the shots in all those cases.”

Friend said this is part of a trend for the federal law enforcement agency, adding that the FBI’s National Security Branch “has refocused counterterrorism from legitimate foreign actors to political opponents within our borders.”

The FBI had come under heavy fire for politicization on behalf of democratic interests in recent years. More evidence has emerged that the FBI may have played more of a role in inciting the events of Jan. 6 than previously thought.

A Government Accountability Office report released in February found the FBI and Capitol Police were aware of threats ahead of Jan. 6 but did not do enough about it. 

The FBI has also been exposed for working with social media companies to censor Americans online, most notably by urging social media companies to shut down the Hunter Biden laptop story just before the 2020 election between President Joe Biden and then-president Donald Trump.

Social media company representatives say they were told by the FBI that the story was Russian disinformation.

That story has since been verified and is not disinformation, but not before the FBI’s decisions impacted the presidential election.

These and other concerns have put the federal law enforcement agency under serious scrutiny, in particular from Republican lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who chaired Thursday’s committee hearing and called the FBI “an agency focused on politics.”

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Casey Harper is a Senior Reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. A graduate of Hillsdale College, Casey’s work has also appeared in Fox News, Fox Business, and USA Today.

Photo: Whistleblower Steve Friend, a former FBI special agent who served five years on an FBI SWAT team and five years before that in local law enforcement in Georgia, testifies before a U.S. House committee about the agency’s political approach to criminal investigations across the country. Courtesy: CSPAN

49 COMMENTS

  1. Watched some of this hearing. No new news but I want to know what, legally, the house is going to do about the obvious law breaking inside DOJ/FBI? How do they get anyone in front of a judge? Can they even force a trial?

    • As The FBI is the United States government’s leading law inforcement agency covering domestic terrorism for 1, Jefferson says defund the police.

      • There are two sides to the FBI ‘coin’. On the one side; is there a legitimate mission for the FBI? I believe that there is. For pursuing criminal enterprises that have expanded across state and federal boundaries and also for counter espionage operations. The second side; has the FBI corruption become bad enough that it out weighs it’s existence? I’d say yes.

        I’m one of those that bought into the line ‘at least the field agents of the FBI are good, even if the leadership is bad’. That started to change for me after Ruby Ridge and Waco. No field agent, with an ounce of humanity would blindly accept orders to kill civilians in what was billed as a ‘law enforcement operation’ (as opposed to a military operation). And now, over the last few years, I’ve seen the FBI insert agents into and possibly instigate, cases like the Michigan governor kidnapping scenario and the Jan6 ‘riots’ (think Ray Epps). Even today, there is a paper trail showing that agents were directed to investigate parents at school board meetings.

        I think the FBI is a case of growing bigger than it was intended to be. At the strictest definition they should be limited to investigating actual federal crimes. School board meetings are most definitely NOT federal jurisdiction. Even the Michigan governors case should have been handled by the state police as it never crossed state boundaries. As for ‘domestic terrorism’, all larger police agencies already have units designated to pursue those cases. If those cases cross state lines? Then how about a task force, as has been done in the past. Counter espionage can easily be picked up by one of the dozen or so already existing intel agencies.

        So, yes, we have enough justification to shut down the FBI as they are operating illegally on several levels and there are more than enough existing agencies that can pick up any jobs that the FBI is currently tasked with.

        One caveat needs to be that, when disbanded, no current member of the FBI can EVER be allowed to work in a law enforcement/investigation capacity again.

        • Paul how was the FBI investigating parents at school board meetings? Do you make this stuff up? The FBI and local police were investigating parents who threatened school board members and school administrators. That is called domestic terrorism and it is there job to investigate domestic terrorism. Also Paul, domestic terrorism is absolutely a federal crime.
          Does the FBI have the resources to monitor every school board meeting in the Country? I think not. If anything is amiss here, its the schools overacting by reporting parents who are overly disruptive during board meetings. What, the FBI is not suppose to investigate reported threats of domestic terrorism?

          • Apparently when the FBI investigates people on the ‘other side’ from you, it just doesn’t count. The FBI has no jurisdiction over simple threats even if they are against school board members. That is local police jurisdiction. Claiming that parents threatening school board members is ‘domestic terrorism’ is complete bovine scat. It was done with the expectation that the threat of bringing in an ‘FBI investigation’ would scare off parents that did not approve of a school boards tactics.

          • DOJ policy for this matter was challenged by some of these extremely caring parents in the courts. A federal judge nominated by 270 lb. Trumpy dismissed the case. The judge concluded that Garland’s memo does not target protected conduct under the Constitution and covers only criminal conduct by wacko parents. Criminal conduct that falls under federal jurisdiction.

            The adult daughter of Brenda Sheridan, a Loudoun County, Virginia school board member, received a letter threatening to kill both daughter and mother unless the mother resigned from the school board.

            “It is too bad that your mother is an ugly communist whore,” said the hand-scrawled note, which the family read just after Christmas. “If she doesn’t quit or resign before the end of the year, we will kill her, but first, we will kill you!”
            If this is not a prime example of domestic terrorism, what is? This is just one of many similar threats made to school board members and officials. Your position is this is just a minor issue? If your daughter or son received this, are you telling me that you would only call the wonderful Palmer or Wasilla police (who would promptly call the FBI)?

      • Yes, Maureen, with “domestic terrorism” now having been unofficially officially redefined as “domestic political opposition”.

        I hope you enjoy the police state that you are doing everything possible to build.

  2. Old news as most of us free thinkers already figured that out. Now does the justice department have the courage to stand up and write the wrong. Nobody should be in jail except the crooked government prosecutors their employees and the judge. I know it will never happen but the lies are out there don’t trust or have any involvement with the feds they will lie and cheat to get you just like the SS.

  3. Federal Bureau of Instigation. Shut it down!

    Their intentional bureaucratic abuse, with bad intentions, is completely out of control and its destructive capacity is boundless. The bureaucratic coup is as ugly as their hearts. The rot must be completely removed.

  4. Can anyone recall Marybeth Kepner? Chad Joy? Those two are a perfect example of what happens when someone does toe the FBI party line and when someone does not toe the FBI Party line…..Kepner did what was expected and received a reluctant slap on the wrist and a promotion….Joy was the guy who outed the FBI and Kepner over their BS in the Stevens prosecution, and he was told that he needed to leave the agency as quickly as possible.

  5. WASN’T Betsy Ross a seamstress and Martha Washington’s relative? Now she is a bad person?

  6. These weren’t ‘whistleblowers’ but disgruntled employees who had their security clearance removed for their participation in the Jan 6 debacle (insurrection). The members of a certain political party are attempting to legitimate their false narrative along the lines of the Durham nothingburger. That’s why members of the committee that were of the minority were not provided with written testimony, unlike that of of the dirty poker Jordan circus.

    • You continue to believe that which has been proven to be an orchestrated event by the former speaker of the house and the liars in her cabal. In concert with the FBI, they turned a peaceful demonstration into the murder of an unarmed woman that was an unarmed veteran of the military. Amazing. As for the written testimony, the last time the Dems were given privileged info, they used the media to crucify the individuals with a shaped narrative. Read more. You will be more informed.

      • Mrs. N is absolutely correct. I don’t know what flavor of Kool-Air she may be drinking, however, it is obvious that you are drinking a toxic orange Kool-Aid. Robert Rubey Ridge, how has the conspiracy you refer to been proven? You do understand that for something to be proven there needs to be some verifiable objective evidence, not just some Can you direct some of the more uninformed readers to that evidence? I believe the deceased veteran you refer to was killed by Trumpy and his big lie. Had he not spewed his brown liquid she would still be alive. Finally, where is that you suggest we go to get more informed? Fox Not Necessarily the News or National Lampoon?

  7. R. I. P. Senator Stevens
    Begich sure has a comfortable additional retirement just for being eager to be used as a chess piece.

  8. Gets even better.
    .
    From the Daily Caller: “FBI Used Cash Bonuses To Encourage Agents To Wiretap More Americans, Whistleblower Says”.
    .
    “Special agents in charge (SACs) are able to get year-end bonuses by meeting certain metrics, some of which are determined by the SACs themselves, which encourage the deployment of law enforcement resources including wiretapping, according to the report.”
    .
    “I (FBI Special Agent Garret O’Boyle) think a large driving factor in the FBI is to meet those metrics. And I think that raises grave constitutional concerns to be saying to law enforcement officers, you have to go and do X, Y, and Z so the boss gets his bonus.”
    .
    (https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/republicans-judiciary.house.gov/files/evo-media-document/2023-05-17-fbi-whistleblower-testimony-highlights-government-abuse-misallocation-of-resources-and-retaliation-sm.pdf)
    (https://dailycaller.com/2023/05/18/fbi-used-cash-bonuses-encourage-agents-to-wiretap-more-americans-whistleblower/)

    • The Daily Caller was founded by Tucker Carlson, a proven liar (see texts obtained by Dominion) primarily to the rightwing wackos who wasted their precious time watching him. Please tell me you have a credible source for this BS. The Daily Caller story is just regurgitating the drivel from Gym Jordan’s committee designed to assist and protect the Orange Trumpster.

      • So, your response is “founded by a liar.”
        Not, the article is wrong because of this reason or that incorrect statement.
        .
        Basically, you are dismissing it because of the source, not because of the content. Very childlike of you.

  9. Most of the brainwashed don’t even care about this. This plus the spying on Trump combined with the phony Russia narrative is bigger than watergate….still nobody who feeds on MSM will bat an eye. Orange man bad even when proven innocent.

    • How exactly was the Bad Orange Man proven innocent? As the Masked Person likes to say, be specific. Better yet, how was the Russia narrative phony? Any evidence to support yours and Gym (I will look the other way while my wrestlers get molested) Jordan’s belief? The Special Counsel investigating the matter would seem to disagree and actually produced evidence. Enough evidence for 37 indictments (including 24 members of Russia’s GRU) , 7 people convicted or pleading guilty, multiple Trump associates repeatedly lied to investigators, and 10 counts of Obstruction of Justice for ole Fat Trumpy himself. Additionally, 14 criminal matters were referred to the DOJ where Bill Barr promptly buried them. A curious or just someone with a pulse might wonder why would Orange Trumpy be obstructing justice if these matters were so phony. Well, two reasons, he is guilty as hell and you would more likely than not uncover all types of other crimes.

  10. The American public has lost all confidence in the FBI. The original director, J. Edgar Hoover, a closet homosexual who investigated anyone who didn’t agree with him, has left behind a legacy of gestapo tactics and fascist ideology. It’s now being forcefully applied against patriotic Americans. What a turn. The FBI has become Joe Biden’s secret police force.

    • FBI, ……..a rogue terrorist network taken over by thugs and mafia Democrats during the Obama years.

  11. Do these guys have formal whistleblower status, I don’t believe so. Telling some tales that give Gym Jordan a woody doesn’t make you a whistleblower. Also, seems like if these MAGA Knuckleheads came to WDC from all over the country to deface our Capital, its a national problem.

  12. We are in some very scary times when we fear our government more than our enemy. Oh, wait! Maybe they are one and the same.

  13. Still waiting for Rep. Comer’s missing witness. Meanwhile Rep Jordan trots out three losers who were tossed from the FBI for supporting thugs that attacked Capitol Police. Between abortion, culture wars and wars on institution the right wing whackos are destroying the Republican Party.

    • And, I am waiting to see the evidence of Trump/Russian collusion that Adam Schiff has personally seen.
      .
      Perhaps if we both hold our breath?

  14. In order to avoid such incidents as the Trucker protest as in Canada, the US government took preemptive action, staging the Jan 6th incident in order to prevent protests and dissent during the covid hoax. Worked. Scared enough people and even the right leaning media were too scared to encourage any kind of resistance to our Constitutions, federal and state being washed down the toilet.
    Were there any protest in Alaska or new coverage before or after when the legislature declared they would suspend all codes and laws that they might violate. Kinda invalidated their whole purpose of making laws. did the media report when he governor who didn’t have the authrity to do so either nullify any laws he might violate, making it, I can make a law mull and void just by violating it. did any news outlet tells us about the isolation and quarantine laws that existed in Alaska before covid. Nope.
    That whole suspend laws and codes just killed rule of law. Makes me think, why bother with “is it legal or no,” if the governor can just one day, over a cold, break any law he pleases by declaring them null by his violating them, why can’t anyone else.

  15. It is past time to stop the FBI, NSA, CIA, FDA, CDC, federal reserved and many other NGOs from being terrorist organizations! All Constitutional Rights under the Republic must be restored. America is on the slippery slope to socialism/communism/fascism. Deep State and their and all their puppets must be removed and many must face the consequences of their treasonous actions and crimes against humanity. Dear Adam Schiff – a lie spoken a thousand times is still a lie. Dear Bill Gates – time you are held accountable for your crimes against humanity. Dear George Soros – you interfered with elections and must be held accountable for your crimes. Dear Anthony Fauci – you are the scum of the earth! You funded the gain of function research that caused the COVID plandemic. You warned us that there would be a pandemic during Trump’s Presidency. You have committed the biggest mass murder in history and you will be held accountable! Dear MSM you have have participated in these crimes through fear porn, mis/dis information, political assassination of anyone that doesn’t go along with the Democratic Narrative and you must be held accountable. Dear Killary – you must face the consequences of your actions – you have lied, stolen, cheated for self enrichment. Dear Obama – what was written in the letter you received at former President Bush’s Funeral? In your initial speech when you became president you said, “I am going to fundamentally change America.” You did your best to ruin America. Equity is NOT equality. The Second Amendment ensures the First Amendment. You must face the consequences of your actions. The list goes on and on. Biden Crime Family must be held accountable. If all of this gets swept under the carpet we know who the real criminals are – legislators/senators! If you can’t debate science it is propaganda. Remember Obama legalized propaganda.

  16. Not to worry folks. Why else would the IRS need 87,000 armed Agents? Thats nearly 1900 new agents weaponized per state. What is their planned agenda? Will they be making house calls to calculate your taxes for you and then collect on the spot? I think their mission is more along the lines to search and seize any form of weapon that is not properly “registered” according to their records and judgement. I can see a lot more “Ruby Ridge” incidences occurring on a regular basis. 87,000 is a very large number! I just cant grasp any other need for that many new “agents”! Does antone know more about the needs of IRS than I do. I know it takes awhile to process returns and issue checks but how much will these “positions” cost? Just the cost of the weapons issued and subsequent weapons training required to pack a gun in public is astronomical! I would really like to hear from the democrats on this one but they all avoid these questions like the plague because they know it is a completely CRAZY idea that has already been funded with our own tax dollars. We are paying for this! Come on all you Democrats! Pull your heads out of where ever it is and defend this insanity! I want to hear it from YOU!

    • Are you really that gullible or perhaps you are unable to process information in a timely manner. The 87,000 proposed IRS hires are over a 10 year period where many of the new hires are replacing retiring employees (50k plus). Only IRS Special Agents are authorized to carry a gun and currently special agents make up approximately 2.5 percent or 2,000 of total IRS employees. So to spout off about 87,000 armed agents is just idiotic.

  17. January 6th was absolutely an FBI entrapment operation orchestrated at the request of the democrat party and the unelected deep state.

  18. Not sure what exactly set you off Trump It, but this write up has you spinning on the floor like Curly from the Three Stooges. Step back a moment and re read what you’ve been writing. Even with your rabid hatred of all things Trump, some facts just stand on their own. Like the only person killed during the Jan6 ‘riots’ was Ashley Babbit and she was executed by Michael Byrd, of the D.C. capitol police. She was stuck in a hole in a glass door and was looking right at Byrd when he shot her through the neck. She was no immediate danger to Byrd or the other cops, some of whom were mixing through the crowd itself. She was no danger to national security as there was no sensitive documents nearby and the house/senate members had been evacuated from that area. So if she was not a physical or security threat she was guilty of trespassing. Why wasn’t she taken into custody, cuffed, and processed for an appearance in front of a local judge? As a matter of fact all the members of that ‘riot’ that are STILL in jail to this day are guilty of nothing more than trespassing and possibly vandalism.

    You claim a large number of Trump associates that have been indicted and breathlessly tell that some have even pleaded guilty. Being indicted is just being formally charged with a crime, you still need to be proven guilty. And for those that pleaded guilty (like Mike Flynn) most did so as a result of not having the money to fight off the federal government. Flynn is a retired three star general. He is now financially broke as he sold off his holdings in order to fight the DOJ charges against himself. The government only needed to drag out the events until he was broke and was forced to throw in the towel. It takes lots of money to fight a D.C. full of crooked lawyers and most of us will never have that kind of cash available.

    Then you try to justify the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents. Even if they were billed as replacements (which they are NOT) the IRS will most definitely not have 87,000 agents retiring/quitting over the next ten years. Just not a believable premise. And why would ANY agents of the IRS need to be armed? They deal with financial issues. If they need weapons to conduct operations, they can do what other agencies do, get an armed police detail to accompany them.

    Separate your hatred of conservatism and look at cold hard facts. You claim that Trump just HAS to be guilty. Of something, anything! The only ‘crime’ that has ever surfaced on him is the crime of harsh manners or talking mean.

    • As usual Paul you have no command of the facts. Just repeating Alex Jones, Gym (I never passed the Bar) Jordan, or Tucker (I lie for a living) Carlson’s drivel. Ashli (note spelling) Babbitt was shot in the front left shoulder, not the neck as you claim. She attempted to breach the Speakers Chamber while members of congress were still present. U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), a witness to Babbitt’s attempted breach, said that Byrd “didn’t have a choice” but to shoot, and that his action “saved people’s lives”. How could Rep Mullin have witnessed this if all members were evacuated?

      Michael Flynn’s telephone calls with the Russian Ambassador discussing sanctions imposed on Russia were intercepted by the FBI and when questioned about it he lied to the FBI. That’s a crime. He plead guilty because he was guilty. If you don’t want the financial consequences don’t commit the crime.

      As for your claim the IRS is hiring 87,000 new agents proves you may be cognitively impaired. Please try and think about it. Currently, of the IRS employee population of 80,000, approximately 20 percent are agents. This leaves 80 percent that are managerial and administrative. Does it make sense that you can add 87,000 new agents without increasing support staff? Paul, I will answer for you, no it does not. The majority of the 87,000 new hires (not agents) will be in managerial and administrative roles.

      Fat ole Trumpy will be orange from head to toe soon. Oops, sorry, he already is! To paraphrase Ted Cruz, history will not be kind to the guys who held Trump’s jacket.

      • Go back and check the list. I think you might have missed a couple of those talking point from the deep state crowd, lol.

  19. It is interesting that one of the reasons the FBI and other DOJ offices oppose the release of the footage from inside the Capital on Jan 6th is because… it may expose the identity of undercover agents.
    .
    Weird… If I were of the tin foil reflector fedora persuasion, I might want to ask, “exactly how many undercover agents were in the Capital?” And also ask “Why didn’t your undercover agents tell people about the pending attack so it could be prevented?”

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