Whistleblowers embody the great American spirit and all she stands for – duty, honor, bravery, loyalty, fidelity to country, and devotion to family and community. They come forward to speak the truth at the risk of their personal and professional lives. In too many instances, their courageous actions are the only means that bring to the surface conduct of corruption, fraud, and abuses of power within the federal government. Without them, much of what is discovered would be hidden away.
The following is an overview of whistleblower laws and regulations and a reminder as to the sacrifices and costs honorable people take to protect our Constitutional Republic.
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
(WPA) prohibits retaliation against executive branch employees and contractors when they blow the whistle on department or agency wrongdoing. The WPA was amended in 1994 and reinforced in 2012 when Congress passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
. However, not all executive branch employees are covered by the Act and, therefore, cannot claim whistleblower protections. The list of excluded employees includes:
- Political appointees;
- Uniformed military service members;
- Noncareer Senior Executive Service employees;
- Employees of the 17 different intelligence agencies and the FBI;
- Members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps;
- Officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Commissioned Corps; and Employees of the U.S. Postal Service.
Protected disclosures, under the Act, can be made either internally to others within the agency or publicly. Typically, when whistleblowers disclose wrongdoing publicly, they turn to members of Congress, the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), or government watchdog agencies. Although unusual, whistleblowers could take their information directly to the media or to the American public. The WPA protects public disclosures to the extent that the underlying information is not restricted from release based on an executive order, specifically prohibited by statute, or otherwise considered sensitive. Disclosures of wrongdoing that are prohibited from public release are still protected as long as the whistleblower shares the information with the OIG, the OSC, or to appropriate members of the whistleblower’s agency who are authorized to receive the information.
It is unlawful to retaliate against whistleblowers. However, it happens too often. If a whistleblower is subjected to retaliation, s/he can file a retaliation claim with the OSC within three years of the retaliatory acts. The OSC investigates and, if verified within 120 days from receipt, prosecutes the claim. If the OSC fails to determine the validity of the claim within 120 days, the whistleblower (and his or her attorney) can seek adjudication of the retaliation claim directly from the Merits System Protection Board (MSPB), an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that, among other functions, receives and adjudicates whistleblower retaliation claims under the WPA.
Below are three summaries of recent whistleblower actions bringing light to conditions of crisis in America today.
Three Former FBI Special Agents Blow the Whistle on FBI Persecutions and Covert Targeting
On May 18, 2023, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, held a hearing
to take the testimony of three FBI Whistleblowers and an attorney familiar with the retaliatory nature of our current system. Former special agents Garret O’Boyle
, Stephen Friend
, and Marcus Allen
, along with Tristan Leavitt
, attorney and former member of the MSPB
spoke to America about the abuses they have suffered coming forward to their superiors with revelations of devilish corruption and abuses of authority by the FBI’s top brass. The hearing painted a dark picture of the disrepair and disorder that plagues the FBI. It illustrated a shocking level of malfeasance within the agency, including persecution campaigns against the political right and covert targeting operations directed at concerned parents and practicing Catholics.
Due, in part to their testimony, long gone are the days of placing blind trust in our federal law enforcement and intel agencies. The FBI Whistleblowers endured severe retaliation resulting in life-changing damages including significant income loss, intimidation, public shaming by the left, and mainstream media-driven reputational harm. It’s no wonder many Americans demand Congress defund the FBI. It is plain to see that instead of safeguarding Americans, the agency has become another irreparably compromised political institution.
HHS Whistleblower Shines Light On the Federal Government’s Role in Child Trafficking and Exploitation at the Southern Border
On April 25, 2023, Tara Lee Rodas, a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whistleblower testified about what she saw and experienced when she first learned how broken the HHS system was while deployed to the HHS Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site in California after volunteering to help with the crisis at the southern border as part of the administration’s Operation Artemis. Her testimony
was explosive, taking the entire federal government to task for the participatory role it is playing in the sex trafficking and exploitation of children – an illegal industry that has significantly expanded under the current administration. In a hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security and Enforcement, Ms. Rodas testified, “today, children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex.” Shining a light not only on the crisis of migrant children entering America unaccompanied, only to be trafficked into a sex slavery underworld industry, but also the complicit role this administration plays, Ms. Rodas explained, “It could be argued that the U.S. government has become the middleman in a large scale, multi-billion-dollar, child trafficking operation that is run by bad actors seeking to profit off of the lives of children.”
IRS Whistleblowers Expose Biden-Family Secrets and Reveal Two-Tiered Justice System
On July 19, 2023, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability held a hearing
with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers Joe Ziegler, a IRS Special Agent and Gary Shapley
, an IRS Supervisory Special Agent. Ziegler and Shapley were members of an IRS investigation team tasked to examine Hunter Biden’s evasion of taxes on his $8.3 million income. Both men testified about witnessing multiple incidences of blatant misconduct and politically-motivated preferential treatment by Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) when it came to Hunter Biden’s criminal investigation. A press release from the Committee includes a showing that their testimony and supporting documents illustrates that the Biden DOJ “prevented investigators from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden; divulged sensitive information to Hunter Biden’s attorneys; and allowed the clock to run out to prevent charging Hunter Biden with felonies.” The Committee highlighted the following key takeaways
from the hearing:
- According to financial records obtained by the Oversight Committee, the Biden family set up over 20 shell companies, most of which were created when Joe Biden was vice president. IRS whistleblowers have confirmed the existence of these companies.
- Bank records obtained so far by the Oversight Committee show the Biden family, their business associates, and their companies received over $10 million from foreign nationals’ and their related companies. The Bidens engaged in many intentionally complicated financial transactions through their associates to hide these payments and avoid scrutiny.
- Both the Oversight Committee and whistleblowers have confirmed Hunter received millions of dollars from China, Ukraine, and Romania. IRS whistleblowers also presented evidence of Joe Biden’s knowledge and possible involvement in his family’s business schemes.