After falsely claiming that some FBI whistleblowers had been paid $250,000 in exchange for their testimony before Congress, Democrats were fact-checked by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) on the spot.
In their latest attempt to discredit FBI whistleblowers Garrett O’Boyle and Steve Friend, Democrats tried to smear them for receiving charitable checks after their testimonies because they had been fired for speaking out against the government. There is no evidence that the money came in exchange for their testimony, and the charities who donated to them have attested to that.
Democrats went beyond just smearing O’Boyle and Friend — with Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) claiming during FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee that O’Boyle and a third whistleblower, Marcus Allen, were given money from fellow whistleblower Kyle Seraphin after their testimonies.
“Here’s another picture,” the Democrat congresswoman said, referencing two screenshots brought to the hearing. “It’s the checks that were sent to both O’Boyle and Allen. Each check was for $255,194. Let me say that again. These men were paid $255,194 after they testified as so-called whistleblowers.”
Johnson immediately stepped in to refute her claims after Jackson finished speaking — pointing out that neither whistleblower had received the money from Seraphin.
“They actually haven’t received the money,” the Louisiana Republican explained. “Have a unanimous considerate request — Mr. Chairman of a tweet Matthew Foldi put out during this hearing.”
Johnson proceeded to read out Foldi’s tweet, which refuted similar claims from Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), stating: “Right off the bat #NY10’s @RepJerryNadler lies about a whistleblower getting $250k. Marcus Allen has not received $250,000. He has not received or cashed the check that Kyle Seraphin posted online. Allen is seeking legal advice about whether and how he can accept donations while he challenges the FBI’s retaliation for protected whistleblowing.”
Johnson then requested that this information be placed on the record, to which House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) agreed.
Jason Foster, founder of the nonprofit Empower Oversight, which represents Allen, also refuted Nadler’s claims on social media.
“It is reprehensible for a Member of Congress to attack our client, FBI #whistleblower Marcus Allen, with bogus accusations. Far from profiting, he’s had to deplete his family’s retirement savings to survive,” Foster tweeted.
This fact check correcting Ranking Member Nadler is accurate.
It is reprehensible for a Member of Congress to attack our client, FBI #whistleblower Marcus Allen, with bogus accusations.
Far from profiting, he’s had to deplete his family’s retirement savings to survive. https://t.co/zpFiviPkRL
— Jason Foster (@JsnFostr) July 12, 2023
Foster also spoke with Just The News, confirming to the outlet that Allen had never cashed the check offered by Seraphin, as he is currently in the process of seeking legal advice as to whether he can accept donations while being a whistleblower.
O’Boyle’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall, also spoke with the outlet via a spokesperson — stating that he had not cashed the check either.
“As of today, he has not accepted any money from Kyle Seraphin,” Binnall’s spokesperson Erica Knight said in a statement. “Democrats didn’t seem concerned when Peter Strozk was raising money for his legal Defense fund as a government employee.”
Speaking on the “Just The News, No Noise” TV show on Wednesday, Friend also said that the claims against him were false.
“This is just a perfect example of taking facts completely out of context and then throwing them up against the wall and hoping that nobody actually reads beyond the headline,” the whistleblower said. “The fact of the matter is that Kash Patel’s foundation gave a charitable donation to me and other whistleblowers when we were several months removed from a paycheck. It was the amount of $5,000.”
“The $250,000 figure is from … [an] account that we established for whistleblowers. I was not a recipient of that,” Friend added. “The money was earmarked to go to Garrett O’Boyle and Marcus Allen, neither of which, neither gentleman, has actually cashed that check.”