After heated whistleblower hearing, ex-FBI agent says current employees agree bureau has become politicized

A former FBI Miami bureau special agent reacted to Thursday’s heated House subcommittee hearing on the politicization of the FBI, which featured testimony from three whistleblowers who said they felt retribution after voicing their concerns.

On “The Story,” former special agent Nicole Parker, who resigned from her South Florida post over what she said was a noted shift in the direction of ideology and politics at the bureau, suggested she could identify with testimony of whistleblowers Steven Friend, Marcus Allen and Garret O’Boyle.

“I watched it very closely because I was just in their shoes back in February when I testified before the same committee,” Parker said.

“I understand that their security clearances were pulled. I don’t know the exact details of that, but I know that without a security clearance as an FBI agent, you can’t do your job. And when you feel like your security clearance is being pulled because it’s either the FBI’s way or the highway, that’s not a good position to be in.”


Parker said her clearance remains intact until late 2024 following her resignation, which shows how serious the loss of a such a qualification is to someone in federal law enforcement.

“For them to feel like their security clearances were pulled just because they were retaliated against, that that’s not a good position to be in. That’s not right,” she said.

Parker, however, said the bureau does rightly have strict regulations on its sensitive and classified material, saying people should not be downloading internal content onto thumb drives and taking it out of the building – an accusation leveled against Friend.

“I’m not saying that’s what this individual did. Again, I don’t want to speak out of turn because I don’t know the exact details,” Parker said.

A recent report by the House committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, found the FBI suspended his security clearance and his job without pay after he made protected disclosures about the bureau’s handling of January 6, 2021 domestic extremism cases.

The bureau contended in a statement Thursday that Friend wrongly downloaded documents onto thumb drives in September 2022.


During the hearing, Republicans said Allen was purportedly retaliated against for sending emails with links to allegations there had been law enforcement infiltration among the protesters at the Capitol.

When Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., attempted to grill Allen on controversial tweets made in an account resembling his name, a person in the room loudly suggested she might have the wrong “Marcus Allen” after the witness denied the account bearing the relatively common name was his. 

“It might be the football player,” the male voice shouted, referring to the NFL Hall of Fame running back.

Tape was played of another apparent whistleblower, George Hill, who claimed Washington-based agents declined to share with the Boston office video footage from the riot because of the possibility of incidental identification of undercover agents or confidential human sources.


Ranking Member Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands, repeatedly sparred with Jordan during the hearing, at one point criticizing the fact Allen did not want to come forward to Democrats, while she and other Democrats including Rep. Daniel Goldman of New York, questioned whether Allen or the other two agents should be considered whistleblowers.

Parker concluded her interview by asking rhetorically whether FBI brass or management have ever come forward as whistleblowers, saying it has been apparently exclusively rank-and-file agents.

“There are current and former FBI employees who feel exactly the same as these whistleblowers feel that testified today. They feel exactly the same way that I do, but they do not feel that they’re at liberty to speak up because they need that pension… They’ve worked hard in their career. They deserve that pension, and they don’t want the target on their back,” she said.

“Look at what has happened to the many people who have spoken up. There is retaliation and it’s uncomfortable for their families. It ruins their family’s lives. Can you blame them for not wanting to speak?”

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