House Democrats on Thursday accused a suspended FBI agent witness, who was put forward by their Republican colleagues as a whistleblower, of lying to Congress last month and referred the matter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Garret O’Boyle testified before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government alongside two other FBI agents, who Republicans alleged had their security clearances revoked or suspended for espousing conservative views.
During the hearing and a previous interview with the House Judiciary Committee, O’Boyle said the FBI suspended his security clearance for making unauthorized disclosures to the media, allegations he repeatedly denied.
However, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) said in Thursday’s letter that O’Boyle’s testimony was contradicted by that of Jennifer Moore, the head of the FBI’s Human Resources Branch, who signed the letter notifying O’Boyle of the suspension.
The September letter said O’Boyle’s security clearance had been suspended because of “allegations you may have misused FBI information technology systems and records.”
Moore told the panel her department received a referral from the FBI’s Insider Threat Office, which had determined that O’Boyle had leaked information about a criminal investigation to Project Veritas that “compromised the case.”
Nadler and Plaskett alleged on Thursday that the September notification letter and Moore’s testimony “directly contradicts” O’Boyle’s explanation for being suspended, as well as his denials that he leaked information before his suspension.
“In fact, the testimony provided by EAD Moore makes clear that Mr. O’Boyle was automatically referred to the Security Division after the FBI’s Insider Threat Office determined that he had unlawfully removed sensitive information from an FBI computer,” they said.
“Subsequent to that, the FBI determined that Mr. O’Boyle had in fact leaked that sensitive information, jeopardizing the safety of his fellow agents and compromising a criminal case,” Nadler and Plaskett added.
The pair of Democrats called for Garland to investigate whether O’Boyle lied to Congress and committed perjury over his remarks.
“Democrats are so desperate to distract from Justice Department wrongdoing that they’re willing to embarrass themselves with frivolous attacks on brave FBI whistleblowers,” said Russell Dye, a spokesperson for the weaponization subcommittee, in a statement to NBC News. “Garret O’Boyle is a proud veteran and experienced law-enforcement officer who has served our nation with honor and distinction. His only crime was speaking out about FBI abuses, and because he exercised his conscience, shameless Democrats now seek to smear his name.”