Conservative politicians and pundits alike have long denounced the FBI’s seemingly permissive stance on months of destructive protests and riots that erupted in communities nationwide following George Floyd’s death during an interaction with Minneapolis, Minnesota, police in 2020.
The following January, however, federal investigators adopted a notably more heavy-handed approach to the demonstration staged by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.
Many Americans have noted the disparity in the more than two years since, and now one FBI insider is providing stunning new allegations about how things were handled within the bureau.
The whistleblower provided an affidavit to Congress as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of political bias within the nation’s intelligence community. Specifically, the unnamed source pointed to FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate’s behavior in response to concerns by some agents that the bureau had treated the 2020 riots and the Jan. 6, 2021, protest differently.
During a video conference call — known internally as a Director SVTC — with field offices nationwide, Abbate allegedly threatened to fire any agent who second guessed leadership’s position on the matter.
“Abbate told the audience that anyone who questions the FBI’s response or his decisions regarding the response to Jan. 6 did not belong in the FBI and should find a different job — or something to that effect,” the affidavit asserts.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Abbate allegedly “argued that the FBI was applying all appropriate resources in each situation.”
The whistleblower noted that the antagonistic tone by an FBI boss was highly unusual.
“I have witnessed hundreds of Director SVTCs and have never seen a direct threat like that any other time,” the affidavit added. “It was chilling and personal, communicating clearly that there would be consequences for anyone that questioned his direction.”
This corroborates the confirmation bias John Durham reported. And demonstrates the motivation behind the cancellation of several legitimate whistleblowers at the hands of top FBI brass. @KerryPicket https://t.co/PTHQoDcWco
— Steve Friend (@RealStevefriend) June 25, 2023
The anonymous source’s attorney, Tristan Leavitt, also provided important context to the story, writing that Abbate was reacting to concerns among some agents about the agency’s harsh Jan. 6 response compared to “its failure to protect federal personnel and property, or to aggressively investigate interstate conspiracies and resulting damage, during the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.”
Of course, the FBI took exception to the whistleblower’s allegations, insisting that “Abbate has strongly supported the people and the work of the FBI, treating employees with dignity, compassion, and respect” during his career at the bureau.