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DeSantis: I’ll Pardon Trump, Other DOJ ‘Weaponization’ Victims

By Sandy Fitzgerald    |   Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:33 PM EDT


New GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that if he’s elected, he will “be aggressive” in using presidential pardons to free people charged or convicted through the weaponization of the Department of Justice, and that includes his main rival for the party’s nomination, former President Donald Trump.

“What I’m going to do is … on day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who people are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons,” the Florida governor told podcasters, Buck Sexton and Clay Travis.

DeSantis added that the DOJ and FBI have been weaponized in many ways under President Joe Biden, and he acknowledged that in some of the cases where people are charged with crimes, “people may have a technical violation of the law.”

“But if there are three other people who did the same thing, but just in a context like BLM [Black Lives Matter] and they don’t get prosecuted at all, that is uneven application of justice, and so we’re going to find ways where that did not happen,” said DeSantis. “And then we will use the pardon power — and I will do that at the front end.”

He said many presidents wait until the end of their administration, but he promised that his administration will “find examples where the government’s been weaponized against disfavored groups, and we will apply relief as appropriate.”

However, DeSantis also explained that the pardons will be considered “case by case,” meaning that a blanket pardon wouldn’t be given to Trump, who is facing several criminal probes.

“That could be from a grandma who got arrested and prosecuted too much all the way up to, potentially, Trump himself,” Travis said. He then asked the governor, “Is that fair to say when you analyze what the charges might have been brought on a federal level?”

“I would say any example of disfavored treatment based on politics or weaponization would be included in that review, no matter how small or how big,” DeSantis responded.

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Whistleblower Warns: ‘The FBI Will Crush You’

By Sandy Fitzgerald    |   Thursday, 18 May 2023 01:41 PM EDT


FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle, one of three testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government Thursday, had a warning for any of his former colleagues who may be thinking about testifying against the agency: Don’t do it.

“The FBI will crush you,” O’Boyle warned, when committee member Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., asked him what he’d advise. “This government will crush you and your family if you try to expose the truth about things that they are doing are wrong, and we are all examples of that.”

O’Boyle said he would tell colleagues that he would take their complaints to Congress for them or put them in touch with Congress, “but I would advise them not to do it.” He admitted that not testifying would not solve the issues the FBI has, or shine light on corruption, but based on his experience, he’d still urge them to turn away.

O’Boyle’s words came at the end of a lengthy, often-heated hearing in which he joined two other FBI whistleblowers, Stephen Friend, and Marcus Allen, to testify about the retribution they experienced for coming forward with statements on several issues. This included the investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021, protests at the Capitol, the investigations of parents speaking out at school board meetings, and other instances that the Republicans on the committee say show the weaponization of the government against the American people. 

In O’Boyle’s case, he told the committee that he was forced to rely on charity after the FBI moved him and his family from Kansas to Virginia, but soon ended his assignment. He claimed the bureau blocked him for six weeks from getting his family’s personal property back.

Chairman Jim Jordan asked all three men for their reactions to the FBI’s activities against them, and all insisted they followed the oaths they had taken when they went to work with the agency. They agreed with Jordan that they felt the “full weight of the federal government” come down on them, particularly when the FBI sent a letter to members of the committee to inform them that the agents’ security clearances had been revoked. 

“Of course, they timed it perfectly,” said Jordan. “It’s in the letter to us yesterday. We knew they would. We knew it was going to happen that way.”

They also testified that their former colleagues have not reached out to them to support them after they found themselves put out. 

“I know for a fact that my former supervisor had a meeting with my squad shortly after I was suspended, and he told them that I was going to be arrested, fired, and charged. So if that’s not chilling, I don’t know what it is,” said O’Boyle.

Friend agreed, commenting that those who have reached out to him “have used encrypted ways to do it because they fear retribution.”

Allen added that he’s been “ghosted by everybody.” 

Earlier in the hearing, Allen testified that he was targeted based on “unsubstantiated accusations that I hold ‘conspiratorial views’ regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and that I allegedly sympathize with criminal conduct. I do not.”

O’Boyle said the actions against him came after his testimony in another proceeding that the FBI prioritized investigations of anti-abortion activiy after the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision on legal abortion. 

He said Thursday that he was forced to accept a new position in another state and that the FBI ordered him to report when his family’s youngest child was only two weeks old. 

Friend, meanwhile, said he has filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel saying he was suspended after he raised concerns about the FBI’s manipulation of crime statistics, the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants, and the agency’s use of SWAT teams. 

“The FBI weaponized the security clearance processes to facilitate my removal from active duty within one month of my disclosures,” he said, also alleging the agency “initiated a campaign of humiliation and intimidation to punish and pressure me to resign” and refused his request for records so he could get another job “in an obvious attempt to deprive me of the ability to support my family.”

He also accused the FBI’s Inspection Division of having “imposed an illegal gag order in an attempt to prevent me from communicating with my family and attorneys.”

The hearing was organized by Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and comes after the release publication of Special Counsel John Durham’s report that revealed the FBI lacked evidence to open its investigation on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The hearing also comes after the Judiciary Committee’s Republicans released a 1,000-page report with the allegations of the politicization of the FBI and Justice Department politicization. 

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