The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government of the House Judiciary Committee had its first hearing Thursday, containing tips from hundreds of former FBI officers and testimony from two former agents who have come forward to reveal politics inside the agency.
Thomas Baker and Nicole Parker, two former FBI agents, spoke about their experiences while working for the bureau.
Parker described the burden of “putting a target” on her back and testifying to speak on behalf of “numerous current and former bureau employees who feel similarly that they do not have a voice.”
Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, started the meeting with an overview of FBI whistleblowers, numbering “dozens and dozens” of people.
“In my time in Congress, I have never seen anything like this,” Jordan said. “It’s not Jim Jordan saying this, not Republicans, not conservatives, good FBI agents who are willing to come forward and give us the truth.”
Jordan tried out a few of these tips, beginning on Nov. 18, 2021, when an FBI whistleblower informed House Judiciary Republicans that the FBI had created a threat tag for parents expressing concern at school board meetings, and ending on Nov. 4, 2022, when a whistleblower revealed the FBI accepts private user information from Facebook without user consent, according to a House Judiciary report.
During the hearing, Johnson stated that he expected many of the whistleblowers to sit for transcribed interviews or appear at future open sessions.
“Every day, I woke up and I embraced being an FBI special agent until things changed,” said former FBI Agent Nicole Parker during the hearing.
Over her 12 years with the agency, Parker said, its trajectory “transformed” and principles “shifted dramatically.”
“The FBI became politically weaponized starting from the top in Washington and trickling down to the field offices,” Parker said.
“It’s as if there became two FBIs,” she continued.
“Americans see this, and it is destroying the bureau’s credibility, and therefore the hardworking and highly ethical agents who still do the heavy lifting and pursue noble cases.”
Former FBI Agent Thomas Baker stated the public’s lack of trust in the organization “breaks [his] heart.” He said that the cultural shift was “planned” and put in place by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“The FBI director set out deliberately to change the culture of the FBI from a law enforcement agency to an intelligence-driven agency,” he said.
“The FBI, by urging Twitter to censor speech, which it could not itself do, was engaging in a perversion — a perversion of the First Amendment,” Baker later continued.
“For most of FBI history, agents were trained as part of the FBI’s mission was to be a guarantor of the Bill of Rights. That has been turned on its head.”