Congressional Democrats recently found themselves on the receiving end of sudden political blowback, as their claims suggesting FBI whistleblowers received more than $250,000 in return for their testimony before the House took a severe blow when those accusations were subjected to some basic fact-checking.
Among those attacked were whistleblowers Garrett O’Boyle and Steve Friend. While Americans have donated charitable funds for their benefit, it is crucial to clarify that these funds were to support their families after the end of their FBI tenure, not in return for any testimony. The charities themselves have underscored the disconnect between the financial aid and the whistleblowers’ testimonies.
Yet, a more considerable setback came to the Democrats when attorneys representing a third whistleblower, Marcus Allen, revealed he never accepted the money. This assertion countered direct allegations by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) that O’Boyle and Allen received donations from fellow whistleblower Kyle Seraphin post-testimony.
This fact check correcting Ranking Member Nadler is accurate.
It is reprehensible for a Member of Congress to attack our client, FBI #whistleblower Marcus Allen, with bogus accusations.
Far from profiting, he’s had to deplete his family’s retirement savings to survive. https://t.co/zpFiviPkRL
— Jason Foster (@JsnFostr) July 12, 2023
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) quickly rectified these allegations in no uncertain terms. “They actually haven’t received the money,” Johnson stated during the hearing, directly confronting the narrative presented by his colleagues across the aisle.
A similar situation unfolded when Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) asserted that the whistleblowers had been rewarded with $250,000 each for their testimony. Jason Foster, the founder of Empower Oversight, countered these allegations on social media. Foster insisted that Allen did not cash the check offered by Seraphin and was currently seeking legal advice regarding accepting donations while pursuing whistleblower status.
Meanwhile, Steve Friend, who was also accused of accepting donations when he came forward, denied these allegations outright. He clarified that the Kash Patel Foundation made a charitable donation of $5,000 to him and other whistleblowers when they were deprived of their paychecks for several months. The questionable sum of $250,000 was a fund established for whistleblowers, earmarked for O’Boyle and Allen, who have not cashed their respective checks.
Friend, now a Senior Fellow at the Center for Renewing America, further clarified that the accusations against him were a classic case of facts taken grossly out of context. He said, “This is just a perfect example of taking facts completely out of context and then throwing them up against the wall and hoping that nobody actually reads beyond the headline.”
These whistleblowers have shown great courage in stepping forward, highlighting corruption within the FBI. They have done so at significant personal risk, including the loss of security clearances, a fact that makes the unwarranted accusations all the more egregious. In the current climate of political discourse, it is more critical than ever to ensure facts stand up to scrutiny. Unchecked narratives risk sowing confusion and mistrust, ultimately eroding public faith in crucial institutions like the FBI.