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Senate Judiciary Committee calls for FBI whistleblower protections

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law MORE (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling for stronger protections for FBI whistleblowers following a Government Accountability Office report, which found that whistleblower protections at the FBI are weaker than at any other agency.

“Whistleblowers should not have to fear retaliation for speaking up, and they should not have to wait a decade for relief,” he said during a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Wednesday.  “And, they should not have to rely on Congress to see justice done.”

GAO’s report released last week found that the Department of Justice took two to more than 10 years to resolve four complaints and failed to give complainants estimates for when to expect a decision.

Besides the report, Grassley said FBI appears to be stonewalling the Inspector General—including in two investigations of FBI whistleblower complaints ­– by failing to provide timely access to records.

“The DOJ program for protecting agency whistleblowers is broken,” said Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblowers Center.

“If you have an employee who knows about wrongdoing I think they have to have real avenues where they can come forward and tell about it and not be punished for actually letting taxpayers and everyone else know what’s going on” said Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCoalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations Senate Dems: Trump making negotiations 'impossible' MORE (D-Vt.) “They have to be protected from retaliation.”