Press Release
June 11, 2024

WASHINGTON – Empower Oversight has uncovered shocking documents that reveal political bias and abuse in FBI security clearance probes against employees who expressed support for President Trump or opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

In the FBI Security Division’s investigative file of an Empower Oversight client, documents show a preprinted interview outline that lists several specific questions the FBI compelled the client’s co-workers to answer.  The preprinted questions included:

  • “Vocalize support for President Trump?”
  • “Vocalize objection to Covid-19 vaccination?”
  • “Vocalize intent to attend 01/06/2021?”

In a letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Empower Oversight president Tristan Leavitt acknowledged that the FBI has legitimate reasons to revoke the security clearances of employees who, “Engage in or support unlawful acts, particularly those designed to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”

Leavitt also wrote, “But our client did not do any of those things. Revoking a security clearance for being near those who did or merely sharing some similar political views as others who acted unlawfully is pure guilt by association.”

The FBI Security Division interview outlines indicated that co-workers were also interrogated about their colleague’s other First Amendment expression outside of work, including attendance at a rally in support of the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.

Nearly one year ago, Empower Oversight provided the inspector general with evidence that the FBI’s Deputy Director told a large group of FBI executives that anyone who disagreed with the FBI’s handling of January 6th cases did not belong in the FBI. These new documents suggest that at least some FBI personnel believed they had a license to purge employees with certain views and abused their power to conduct security clearance probes as a pretext to achieve that goal.

For a copy of Empower Oversight’s letter to the inspector general and the documents, click here.