FBI Restores Security Clearance of Whistleblower Suspended After Questioning Official Jan. 6 Narrative
FBI Restores Security Clearance of Whistleblower Suspended After Questioning Official Jan. 6 Narrative

By Tom Ozimek

Whistleblower Marcus Allen’s attorneys said he has reached a settlement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which has agreed to reinstate his security clearances and disburse 27 months of back pay after suspending him amid “security concerns” over how his views of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incident affected his work at the agency.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which, alongside the Empower Project, represented Mr. Allen in his dispute with the FBI, called the settlement “major and unprecedented,” revealing that the whistleblower’s security clearances had been fully restored, after being “trapped” in a situation where for nearly two-and-a-half years he went without pay and couldn’t take any outside job because he was technically an employee of the FBI.

Mr. Allen, who formally resigned from the FBI on Monday, was one of several whistleblowers who testified in Congress last year before the GOP-led Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, with Mr. Allen alleging that the FBI had unfairly retaliated against him over his protected disclosures to his superiors by slapping him with a suspension and pulling his security clearances.

A former U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a staff operations specialist at the FBI’s North Carolina office, Mr. Allen testified that that the FBI had unfairly accused him of being disloyal to the United States because he forwarded information to his colleagues and superiors that questioned the official narrative about Jan. 6.

“While I feel vindicated now in getting back my security clearance, it is sad that in the country I fought for as a Marine, the FBI was allowed to lie about my loyalty to the U.S. for two years,” Mr. Allen said in a statement.

An FBI spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that it can’t comment on the specifics of the settlement but “both parties agreed to resolve this matter without either admitting wrongdoing.”

A letter from the FBI to Mr. Allen dated May 31, 2024, indicates that his top secret security clearance had been reinstated based upon a “determination that the original security concerns have been investigated and have been sufficiently mitigated.”

Wray Testimony in Focus

Mr. Allen raised concerns to his superiors about the factual accuracy of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony to lawmakers about the agency’s investigation into the Jan. 6 incident.

While testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2021, Mr. Wray appeared to give the impression that the FBI hadn’t infiltrated any of the groups like Proud Boys that were blamed for the violence on Jan. 6, per a letter to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice.

The letter was sent by Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight, a group that co-represented Mr. Allen and asked the watchdog to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s suspension, alleging “whistleblower reprisal through clearance suspension.”

The FBI’s decision to settle with Mr. Allen came before the watchdog reported on its findings.

During the Senate testimony, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said to Mr. Wray that some of the groups involved in the unrest on Jan. 6 showed up “with encrypted two-way Chinese radios in military gear,” adding that “there must be moments where you think, ‘If we would have known, if we could have infiltrated this group or found out what they were doing …’ Do you have those moments?”

“Absolutely,“ Mr. Wray replied. “I will tell you Senator, and this is something I feel passionately about, that any time there is an attack, our standard at the FBI is we aim to bat a thousand, right? And we aim to thwart every attack that’s out there.”

Later, in his capacity as an intelligence analyst supporting the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mr. Allen sent an email to his colleagues and superiors highlighting information in an article in The New York Times that alleged that an FBI informant had infiltrated the Proud Boys, per Mr. Leavitt’s letter.

Mr. Allen wrote in his email that “there is as significant counter-story to the events of 6 January 2021 at the US Capitol. There is a good possibility the DC elements of our organization are not being forthright about the events of the day or the influence of government assets,” suggesting that Mr. Wray may not have been truthful during his remarks to Ms. Klobuchar.

Mr. Leavitt’s letter alleged that Mr. Allen’s superiors changed their attitude toward Mr. Allen “dramatically” after he sent the email even though Mr. Allen met with his supervisors to discuss the matter and believed that it had been resolved amicably.

“Despite being told the matter had been resolved, on January 10, 2022, the FBI proposed to suspend Mr. Allen’s Top Secret clearance on the basis of security concerns related to Adjudicative Guideline A – ‘Allegiance to the United States,’” Mr. Leavitt wrote in the letter to the watchdog. “The letter stated: ‘The Security Division has learned you have espoused conspiratorial views both orally and in writing and promoted unreliable information which indicates support for the events of January 6th.’”

Mr. Leavitt alleged that the FBI’s suspension of Mr. Allen’s security clearance was a “clear violation” of federal laws protecting whistleblowers.

More Details

During congressional testimony on May 18, 2023, Mr. Allen sought to set the record straight.

“This outrageous and insulting accusation is based on unsubstantiated accusations that I hold ‘conspiratorial views’ regarding the events of January 6, 2021 and that I allegedly sympathize with criminal conduct,” he testified.

“I do not,” he insisted, saying he was not present at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and that he condemns all criminal activity that took place that day.

A subcommittee report on the whistleblower hearing, which accused the FBI of having become “politically weaponized” by focusing its investigative powers in a heavy-handed way against Jan. 6 suspects, indicated that the FBI suspended Mr. Allen’s security clearances for “simply performing the duties of his job,” namely carrying out case-related research using open-source news articles and videos and sending it to his task force colleagues and superiors.

An FBI spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that it disputes any characterizations that Mr. Wray made false statements to lawmakers.

“Any allegation that the Director lied to Congress is false,” the spokesperson said. “The FBI takes seriously its responsibility to FBI employees who make protected disclosures under whistleblower regulations, and we are committed to ensuring they are protected from retaliation.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, issued a statement expressing satisfaction that the FBI reinstated Mr. Allen’s security clearances, calling it a “total vindication for a great patriot.”

“Marcus bravely stood up to expose misconduct at the FBI, despite attacks from FBI bureaucrats and congressional Democrats. All Americans owe Marcus a debt of gratitude,” he said.

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