FOIA Update
February 13, 2024

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s stonewalling in the midst of FBI whistleblower retaliation continues to wreak havoc on whistleblower Marcus Allen and his family, who have waited for more than two years without a resolution to his case. 

Allen has not received an FBI paycheck for nearly two years, and during that time has lost other employment and income opportunities while waiting for FBI approvals and internal appeals procedures that have been slow-walked by FBI bureaucrats.

Empower Oversight (Empower) has filed a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting records about Allen’s request for permission to engage in outside employment, as well as records related to the requirement to receive FBI approval for outside employment when on unpaid leave.

In a letter requesting the information, Tristan Leavitt, President of Empower, wrote,

“The FBI has made other unlawful decisions that aggravate Mr. Allen’s financial distress by depriving him of other sources of income while he has been suspended indefinitely without pay. The crux of the FBI’s unlawful actions to interfere with Mr. Allen’s ability to obtain another income is that—although the FBI has suspended Mr. Allen from all duties for two years and has stated its intention to revoke his clearance and never return him to a duty status—it simultaneously claims that he remains an ‘employee’ subject to various FBI restrictions and approvals necessary for outside income. The FBI’s claim is plainly contrary to the statutory definition of a federal employee. The law defines a federal employee as someone who, among other things, is ‘engaged in the performance of a Federal function under authority of law or an Executive act; and…subject to the supervision of an individual…while engaged in the performance of the duties of his position.’ 5 U.S.C. § 2105(a)(2),(3).

“In defiance of this statutory definition, the FBI baldly asserts the authority to require Mr. Allen to obtain permission from the FBI before accepting outside employment. When he asked for such permission, the FBI unreasonably delayed responding to Mr. Allen’s good faith request for permission, causing him to lose an opportunity to mitigate the loss of his FBI income and causing him significant financial harm.”

The full FOIA request can be found here.  Empower is representing Allen with the American Center for Law and Justice.