Last Updated on September 22, 2022
A 12-year veteran of the FBI issued a damning complaint with the Department of Justice inspector general that alleged the bureau is exaggerating the threat of domestic terrorism and is pushing an “overzealous” investigation into the January 6th protest in an attempt to harass Trump supporters.
FBI special agent Steve Friend was suspended on Monday and escorted out of the FBI’s Daytona Beach office after he complained to his superiors about the politicization of the bureau.
Friend boldly refused to take part in FBI-led SWAT raids against Jan. 6th participants last month because he claimed they were excessive usage of force against individuals who were merely charged with misdemeanors.
The bureau was planning to raid a January 6th subject in the Jacksonville, FL area but Friend spoke up. “I have an oath to uphold the Constitution. I have a moral objection and want to be considered a conscientious objector,” the 12-year veteran told his supervisors.
Friend was put on a leave of absence in response to his complaints.
According to the New York Post, Friend did not even vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Speaking about the planned August raid, Friend approached his boss two times, contesting the raid violated FBI policy and Americans’ right to a fair trial, as stated in the Sixth Amendment. Friend also asserted these January 6th raid victims were facing cruel and unusual punishment, which violates the Eighth Amendment.\
On September 16th, the head of FBI human resources sent Friend a letter informing him he was losing his top-secret security clearance because he “spoused beliefs which demonstrate questionable judgment [and demonstrated] an unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations.”
Back in August, when he first approached his immediate superior, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Greg Federico, with his opinion about the Jacksonville raid, Friend told Federico he thought “it was inappropriate to use an FBI SWAT team to arrest a subject for misdemeanor offenses and opined that the subject would likely face extended detainment and biased jury pools in Washington, DC.”
“I suggested alternatives such as the issuance of a court summons or utilizing surveillance groups to determine an optimal, safe time for a local sheriff deputy to contact the subjects and advise them about the existence of the arrest warrant,” Friend explained.
Federico did not care about Friend’s complaints and told him he should have just called in sick instead of questioning the bureau’s raid. Federico also “threatened reprisal indirectly by asking how long I saw myself continuing to work for the FBI,” Friend added.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.