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Documents Expose FBI Vetting Employee for Pro-Trump and Second Amendment Stance

FBI faces allegations of political bias in security clearance revocation.

An FBI employee has reportedly faced severe repercussions, including the revocation of his security clearance, due to his support for former President Donald Trump and opposition to COVID-19 vaccines. This revelation comes from a recent complaint made public on Monday, filed by government watchdog group Empower Oversight against the Justice Department.

The complaint, directed to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, alleges that the FBI penalized the employee over his conservative political views. The employee, whose name has been redacted, had worked for the FBI for 12 years before being subjected to an investigation by the FBI’s Security Division (SecD). The probe was triggered after the employee self-reported his presence in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, during the Capitol protests.

Key points from the complaint include:

  • Political Bias in Investigation: Documents indicate that the FBI interviewed individuals familiar with the employee about his political stance on Trump, his objections to COVID-19 vaccination, and his views on January 6.

  • Peaceful Observation: The employee maintained that he peacefully observed the protests while on personal leave. Despite this, in April 2022, his security clearance was revoked, and he was suspended without pay.

  • Violation of Rights: Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt highlighted what he described as a "shocking abuse of authority" and a violation of the employee’s First Amendment rights. Leavitt noted that the investigation focused on the employee’s personal political beliefs, which should be irrelevant to any legitimate security risk determination.

The complaint also revealed that the FBI’s Security Division asked colleagues of the employee about his vocal support for Trump, his objections to the COVID-19 vaccine, and his intent to attend the January 6 event. Interviewees described the employee as a "gun nut" who had attended a Second Amendment rally but emphasized that he had not promoted violence. They also noted his strong support for Trump, stating he believed the 2020 election was stolen but never implied he would act aggressively.

"The three pre-printed questions that SecD asked our client’s fellow employees show that the FBI systematically compelled them to report on our client’s personal political beliefs and views of the COVID-19 vaccine," the complaint stated. "The information SecD compelled FBI employees to disclose about our client is completely irrelevant to any legitimate security risk determination, and reliance on it to revoke a security clearance obviously violates the First Amendment."

After his suspension, the employee retired and made protected whistleblower disclosures to the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating alleged weaponization of intelligence agencies. This comes on the heels of the FBI restoring the security clearance of another former agent who claimed retaliation for challenging the "official narrative" of January 6.

These developments raise significant concerns about potential political bias within the FBI and its impact on employees' careers based on their personal beliefs.

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