Two former FBI agents on Thursday will tell a House panel that the bureau has been transformed into a partisan agency that has targeted individuals and their constitutional rights, the Washington Examiner reported.
Thomas J. Baker and Nicole Parker, both former FBI agents, are expected to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
"Americans have lost faith in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an institution they once regarded as the world's greatest law enforcement agency," Baker said in a prepared statement, the Examiner reported.
"I spent many years with the FBI and am deeply troubled by this loss of faith. Specific lapses have come to light, many of which will be focused on by this panel. But why did they happen? What changed? The answer begins days after the 9/11 attacks with a cultural change at the bureau."
Baker blames former FBI Director Robert Mueller for the culture change. That's the same Mueller who later was appointed special prosecutor for the investigation into former President Donald Trump's alleged ties, since debunked, to Russia in an attempt to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
"Just days into his tenure as FBI director, he [Mueller] was humiliated when President George W. Bush dismissed his reporting and said he wanted him to prevent another attack," said Baker, an FBI special agent for 33 years.
"After his experience at Camp David, Mueller resolved and resolutely set about to change the FBI 'culture.' That's the word he used. He was going to make it into an intelligence agency, or in his repeated terminology, an 'intelligence-driven' organization."
Parker, an FBI agent from 2011-22, will tell the subcommittee how the FBI "became politically weaponized, starting from the top in Washington and trickling down to the field offices," the Examiner reported.
"Although FBI employees have their first amendment rights, they are not at the liberty to allow their personal political views or preferences to determine their course of action or inaction in any investigation," Parker said in her prepared statement, the Examiner reported.
"It's as if there became two FBIs. Americans see this, and it is destroying the bureau's credibility, causing Americans to lose faith in the agency and therefore the hardworking and highly ethical agents who still do the heavy lifting and pursue noble cases. It makes it difficult for agents to do their job when the FBI loses the respect of the American people."
Parker also said that the FBI has changed its "recruiting practices" and lowered its "eligibility requirements," which is "negatively impacting the agency's performance."
In her statement, Baker criticized the FBI's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against ex-Trump adviser Carter Page.
"This use of FISA against a U.S. citizen is what presents a fundamental threat to Americans' civil liberties," Baker said, the Examiner reported.
"It essentially suspends the Constitution. In 1978, reforms in response to the Church Committee's revelations gave us the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. For more than two decades, it was used solely, as its name implies, to gather intelligence on foreign agents resident in this country."
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