Bombshell allegations by FBI Special Agent Steve Friend contained in a whistleblower complaint filed late Wednesday with the Department of Justice inspector general reveal a politicized Washington, DC, FBI field office cooking the books to exaggerate the threat of domestic terrorism, and using an “overzealous” January 6 investigation to harass conservative Americans and violate their constitutional rights.
Friend, 37, a respected 12-year veteran of the FBI and a SWAT team member, was suspended Monday, stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Fla., after complaining to his supervisors about the violations.
He was declared absent without leave last month for refusing to participate in SWAT raids that he believed violated FBI policy and were a use of excessive force against Jan. 6 subjects accused of misdemeanor offenses.
This American hero, the father of two small children, has blown up his “dream career” because he could not live with his conscience if he continued to be part of what he sees as the unjust persecution of conservative Americans.
“I have an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he told supervisors when he asserted his conscientious objection to joining an Aug. 24 raid on a J6 subject in the Jacksonville, Fla., area. “I have a moral objection and want to be considered a conscientious objector.”
Friend, who did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, said he told his immediate boss twice that he believed the raid, and the investigative process leading up to it, violated FBI policy and the subject’s right under the Sixth Amendment to a fair trial and Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
In his whistleblower complaint to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, obtained by The Post, Friend lays out multiple violations of FBI policy involving J6 investigations in which he was involved.
He says he was removed from active investigations into child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to work on J6 cases sent from DC. He was told “domestic terrorism was a higher priority” than child pornography. As a result, he believes his child exploitation investigations were harmed.
He also has reported his concerns about a politicized FBI to Republican members of Congress, among 20 whistleblowers from the bureau who have come forward with similar complaints.