Witness Tristan Leavitt Schools House Weaponization Committee Dems on What Constitutes an FBI Whistleblower

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On Thursday, the Democrat members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government appeared to hash out the question, “What Is a Whistleblower?” When, in 2019, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman proudly postured in front of Congress to blow the whistle on former President Donald J. Trump about the Ukraine phone call, Democrats had no problem drinking in his every word, and insisting that his status as a “whistleblower” was valid and his testimony worthy to be heard. Now that particular FBI whistleblowers are calling out the government’s highest law enforcement agency for its overreach and retaliation against them and the American people, the term needs to be redefined, and their credibility questioned.


FBI Special Agent Garret O’Boyle, FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, FBI Staff Operations Specialist  Marcus Allen, and attorney Tristan Leavitt who is a former Member of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and the President of Empower Oversight, presented insightful interviews, information, and testimony, yet the Democrats simply wanted to blame MAGA Republicans and whine about how information was withheld from them according to “the rules.”

Yeah, they should probably speak with Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein circa the 2018 Brett Kavanaugh hearings on that one.

The most egregious grandstanding thus far has come from Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX). As RedState previously reported, Rep. Goldman attempted to insult our Townhall colleague Julio Rosas for his testimony on Antifa and rightly got owned. In March, Rep. Garcia made a fool of herself and became an instant meme in her questioning of journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger because she failed to do her homework on what independent journalism entails.

Beclowning themselves seemed to be the order of the day with these two. Their pedantic questioning and time was wasted on canned statements and pompous arrogance about why the Republicans on the committee are engaging in a political witch hunt to malign the greatest law enforcement organization on earth, and why these FBI witnesses are not credible. Garcia was openly rebuked by both Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) for attempting to overtake Issa’s time.


The video starts with Garcia’s inane questioning and goes to about 2:40 with the back-and-forth exchanges.



It was extremely laugh-worthy that Garcia took umbrage over being “demeaned” when Jordan requested Tristan Leavitt further explain from a Congressional perspective, what constitutes a whistleblower:

TRISTAN LEAVITT: The whistleblower statutes protect protected activity, right? One doesn’t have to be retaliated against in order to be a whistleblower. Right? We all agree, that’s not the way it should happen. What is being discussed today is you are not a whistleblower unless you share this activity, and that are retaliated against, and then go through this process. The Department of Justice Inspector General is currently investigating the claims of Mr. Friend and Mr. Allen. That’s exactly why—I don’t know what perfect whistleblower there would be. But if they did that, these are the steps they would take, and so by this definition, they’re not considered a whistleblower.

Darrell Issa asked additional questions of Leavitt to further elucidate his point, and Leavitt confirmed that these witnesses’ stories were valid representations of whistleblowers.

On the other hand, Rep. Dan Goldman first pretended at collegiality and solidarity, then devolved into more semantics on how Congress is supposed to work, how the Democrats on the committee were frozen out of the whistleblowers’ initial testimony, and that the witnesses’ status as whistleblowers lacked credibility.




Despite the fauxfended protestations and manufactured outrage, the Democrats did not care about “fairness” in the process. Before testimony was even heard, Democrat Member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and others on the committee sought to poison the well by leaking a report to the press. Leavitt addressed this behavior at the start in his hearing testimony, and explained exactly why the partisan posturing and intentional sabotage of this committee is detrimental not only to the rule of law, but to the good men and women who only wish to serve their country, not a political agenda.

In light of all these obstacles for FBI whistleblowers, you think Congress would do everything that it could to welcome their disclosures here. But FBI employees coming to Congress have unfortunately been shamefully treated by Democrats on this committee. It’s one thing to hear allegations and find them unpersuasive or even distasteful. An office can even ignore the allegations if they choose, that is their prerogative. But to go out and actively smear the individuals making disclosures, is far worse. That’s what the Democrats on this committee did when they released the March 2nd report entitled, “GOP Witnesses: What Their Disclosures Indicate About the State of the Republican Investigations.”

That report was inaccurate, both on the law and on the facts. The law doesn’t define the term “whistleblower.” Instead, it protects from retaliation individuals who engage in protected activity. For over a century, simply making disclosures of any information to Congress has been a protected activity. Furthermore, an appropriations rider in effect at this time prohibits money from paying the salary of any federal employee who prohibits or prevents any other federal employee such as FBI whistleblowers from communicating with Congress. The Democrats’ report denied whistleblower status to individuals engaged in the precise activity the legislative branch has considered protected since 1912. The report’s reliance on evidence for whistleblower status is also misplaced. Simply communicating a reasonable belief of misconduct is protected whistleblower activity under the law. This applies regardless of whether the whistleblower produces evidence at that time backing up their allegations. Only protecting whistleblowers disclosures accompanied by conclusive evidence, as the Democrats seem to require, would have disastrous consequences for retaliation throughout the federal government. My experience working for Congress was that whistleblowers brought allegations, and where the committees found those allegations worthy of further follow-up and congressional action, we conducted investigations.

No one expects a private citizen to investigate a crime before going to the police. And we didn’t expect the whistleblower to investigate their own agency.

It’s also essentially how the law for remedying retaliation through the MSBP is set up. Where making a non-frivolous allegation, leads to discovery, interviews, and more. Simply put, the burden isn’t on the whistleblower to produce the evidence at the outset. That’s why there’s an investigative process.




Of course, a proper investigation is the last thing that the Democrats want to happen. We are seeing the result of what a true investigation of the facts and testimony produced with the Durham Report. If the Weaponization subcommittee does its proper work, no doubt there will be more fallout in the future.


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