Jim Jordan’s Sham ‘Weaponization’ Hearing Backfires After Witnesses Lose Security Clearances


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revoked the security clearances of three individuals who were either present outside the Capitol around the violent attack on the premises in early 2021 or later exhibited concerning behavior in relation to the government’s handling of the aftermath.

Two of those individuals were scheduled to be witnesses at a hearing on Thursday of a subcommittee that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is leading on the so-called weaponization of the federal government. Essentially, that phrasing is shorthand for investigative and enforcement actions taken by various federal personnel that Republicans don’t like. It is not as though Jordan’s panel has shown any particular interest in scrutinizing actions Trump himself took while in office to “weaponize” federal powers, like through the removal of oversight officials that somehow became at odds with his political team, even though the entire point of the jobs held by those figures is to essentially be an outside force ensuring relevant levels of compliance!

The two with histories in the FBI, who reportedly were also outright suspended, that were testifying for Jordan on Thursday were Steve Friend and Marcus Allen. At least for Friend, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be heading back into service. As recapped by The New York Times, Allen is alleged to have clamored inside the agency against action that would implicate participants in the Capitol assault and even seemingly failed in basic duties of his, reporting he found at least nothing relevant in open-source research on a rioter who was later discovered to have assaulted police. He also sent an email even directing recipients, who seemingly included other agency personnel, to a website containing never proven claims of government agitation underlying the attack back in 2021.

As for Friend, he made a show of refusing to participate in a SWAT team’s arrest of a defendant from the Capitol riot, seemingly failing to acknowledge that this defendant, despite only facing misdemeanor charges, was seen in footage outside the Capitol with an AR-15-style rifle, making force in conducting his arrest not exactly incomprehensible. In a copy of his prepared remarks made available in conjunction with the hearing, Friend failed to mention the history of involvement with dangerous firearms on the part of that defendant even though he mentioned the case, and he also made familiarly sweeping claims about supposed corruption in the FBI’s work. He complained, for instance, about so-called process crimes, seemingly including something like a non-violent act of lying to investigators — which is still a crime, even if you don’t like the government’s response of it!