FIRST ON FOX – Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Department of Justice, told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Ranking Member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that he would consider launching an investigation into whether the FBI retaliated against agents who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol but who did not enter the building with rioters.
Jordan, citing FBI whistleblowers, urged Horowitz last month to investigate whistleblower claims that “the FBI is suspending the security clearances of FBI employees for their participation in protected First Amendment activity on January 6, 2021.” Since a security clearance is required for FBI positions, “these actions mean the FBI has suspended these employees indefinitely.”
JAN. 6 CAPITOL RIOT – ONE YEAR LATER, DC REMAINS ON EDGE
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jordan included the notice of suspension for one 10-year FBI employee who previously had honorably served in the U.S. military for more than 20 years. According to Jordan, the employees in question “did not enter the United States Capitol, have not been charged with any crime, and have not been contacted by law enforcement about their actions.”
Even so, the FBI revoked their clearances, citing “Adjudicative Guideline A – Allegiance to the United States.” T
his move appears to follow a Democratic tactic in conflating peaceful protesters on Jan. 6 with those who actively stormed the Capitol in an apparent attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote for President Biden.
These moves “raise concerns that the Bureau may be taking significant steps toward firing these employees as retaliation for disfavored political speech.”
Horowitz, in a May 4 letter obtained first by Fox News Digital, stopped short of pledging to launch an investigation into the issue, but he did say he would reach out to the FBI and consider whether to open an investigation.
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks to the press in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 4, 2021.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“In view of the concern you have raised, we will ask the FBI to provide the bases for the security clearance and personnel actions taken against the employees you reference in your letter,” Horowitz said in his letter Wednesday. “Based on the information we receive, we will assess whether to conduct a further review.”
“In making such an assessment, we will also consider information about other employees who believe the FBI has taken administrative actions against them for engaging in protected activities on January 6, 2021,” Horowitz added.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS
In his first April letter to the IG, Jordan noted that although the Hatch Act prohibits FBI employees from engaging in partisan political campaigns or political management, FBI employees do not give up their fundamental rights to participate in political speech activity.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz speaks during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General’s report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.
Tyler O’Neil is an editor at Fox News. On Twitter: @Tyler2ONeil. News tips can be sent to: email@example.com.