As many as 28 FBI officials are reportedly considering whether or not to testify against corruption they witnessed in the handling of the Hillary email investigation.
It is unclear what material or information they would offer, but Fox News’ Sean Hannity said nearly 30 individuals are hoping they face a federal subpoena to expose what went on behind the scenes.
“We have an IG [Inspector General] report coming out, and I’m told as many as 28 people that have knowledge of the Clinton email server scandal want to be subpoenaed so they can tell the story of corruption at the highest levels of the bureau at that they love,” Hannity said, as BizPac Review reports.
But, according to the report, these individuals are reportedly having to weigh the cost of potentially losing their careers.
Investigative reporter and Fox News contributor Sara Carter similarly commented that these individuals want to speak, but cannot come willingly. So, they are looking to testify under the guise they have to, via a subpoena.
“There are a lot of FBI agents that want to come out and speak,” Carter said, per the report. “A lot of them are current agents, which makes it very difficult for them, so they need to be subpoenaed. These are the things that Congress needs to act on.”
A report from the Daily Caller has more concerning why these officials do not come forward:
- Sources tell The Daily Caller disgruntled FBI agents are too afraid of retaliation to speak out about the Bureau’s many troubles.
- The sources say agents don’t trust Congress to protect them from the consequences of testifying and claim whistleblower protection laws are ineffective.
- The FBI rarely punishes those who retaliate against whistleblowers, according to the agency itself.
“These agents believe the sluggishness of the law exposes them to an inordinate risk of reprisal, so they have remained in hiding and afraid to speak the truth,” the report claims.
The former White House official who maintained direct contact with at least two agents told TheDC they are “hunkering down because they see good people being thrown to the dogs for speaking out and speaking out does nothing to solve the problems.” He believes that “Congress and DOJ are so weak and clueless and can’t be trusted to follow through.”
According to transcripts he shared with TheDC, one special agent said, “It’s a question of basic credibility — Congress, the executive, and oversight are not seen to have any gravitas or seriousness. The inmates have been running the asylum and they don’t respect, much less fear, their overseers. We know we’ll be hung out to dry.”
The agent added, “And don’t get me wrong, there are still a few good people scattered about, but main Justice and the bureaucrats are running the show, want to run out the clock on this administration, and keep the status quo.”
“It’d be suicide,” one special agent told the Daily Caller. “This is a great opportunity for senior or [soon to be retiring] guys, not for someone like me.”
The agent also said, “You still have a ton of bad people in place. Unless that changes, and I haven’t seen any degree of seriousness on the part of ranking members nor staffers, I’m not meeting with anyone nor willing to be subpoenaed. I’m not coming forward until they get their act together. Right now, it’d be sacrificing a career for cheap political points.”
There is more than just the fear of retaliation which prevents agents like this from stepping forward. Bankruptcy from legal fees is another serious consideration:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley defended the Whistleblower Protection Act he spearheaded after FBI agents insisted that only subpoenas would bring them forward to Congress. (RELATED: Grassley Defends Whistleblower Law, But FBI Agents Want Assurances That Legal Fees Are Covered If Dept. Retaliates)
“I’ve worked hard to strengthen legal protections, especially for FBI employees. You have a right to cooperate with Congressional inquiries, just as you have a right to cooperate with the Inspector General. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.”
Sen. Grassley’s law does an appropriate job at protecting whistleblowers from unfair prosecution, but it is not prosecution that prevents agents from stepping forward—it is the possibility of going bankrupt from attorneys’ fees when defending themselves against retaliatory legal actions by their agency.
“Even with the enactment of the new law, what is the deterrent for retaliation against Whistleblowers? The FBI executives will just stall, ignore, and run out the clock until the victim runs out of money for legal fees or else retires,” the agent also said.