As damning as John Durham’s report on the FBI’s abominable handling of alleged Russian collusion by Donald Trump in 2016 is, it is not an emotional document. But on Thursday three FBI informants showed us the human faces of this deplorable corruption.
Corruption that on Friday we learned from a bombshell Washington Post report includes wrongfully using the Section 702 database to surveil Americans an astounding 278,000 times, including January 6th suspects and conservative political donors.
FBI agents Garret O’Boyle, Marcus Allen and Steve Friend, all of whom say they were stripped of security clearance and pay for bringing concerns about FBI abuses to their superiors, painted a scary picture as they testified before the House subcommittee on the weaponization of government.
O’Boyle has described what could fairly be called, if accurate, a conspiracy to pad the number of white-supremacist-driven domestic terrorism cases in the agency, both to ensure more funds in that area and to drive a pernicious political narrative.
This is the FBI that targeted parents for having the nerve to show up at school board meetings. This is the FBI that treats the prolife movement like it’s Al Qaeda. This is the FBI that wants to infiltrate Catholic Churches to spy on the faithful in prayer.
According to committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, there are dozens more whistleblowers who have been interviewed, and in its own scathing report, the committee outlines what we already suspected, an FBI that is partisan and out of control.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, speaks during a news conference on “FBI whistleblower testimony” at the U.S. Capitol on May 18, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The FBI claims that punishments these men received were for normal and routine violations of protocol. Really? O’Boyle was mid-move when he was reprimanded and not allowed to access his children’s clothing. All three have been deeply financially harmed.
Is it just a coincidence that these three men, and the other dozens were severely criticizing the FBI, is it just a coincidence that the confirmation bias and other misdeeds in the agency mirror with frightening detail the findings of the Durham report? Is it just a coincidence that a database was used to wrongfully spy on conservative Americans?
Perhaps the most important result of Republicans winning the House in last year’s midterms is the ability to hold just these kinds of investigations and hearings, to let us see in flesh and blood the human beings harmed by this corruption.