Grassley wants answers on FBI whistleblower retaliation cases
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Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - DC preps for massive Saturday protest; Murkowski breaks with Trump Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump CBO releases analysis on extending increased unemployment benefits MORE (R-Iowa) wants the FBI to explain why only five employees have been disciplined for retaliating against whistleblowers since 2004.

"In the past year alone, the Committee has received complaints from whistleblowers that suggest that the number of FBI supervisors who should have been punished for retaliatory conduct since 2004 is far greater than five," Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote in a letter to FBI Director James Comey on Monday.


The Iowa Republican also sent the letter to Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general, and Michael Horowitz, the inspector general for the Justice Department. He added, in the letter, that as of March 27, 2015, no FBI employees had been punished for retaliatory conduct since 2012.

Grassley wants Comey to explain the department's policy for investigating allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers and how discipline is determined, including what offices and officials are involved in conducting the probe and determining potential discipline.

According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released earlier this year, 40 of 62 retaliation cases that were reviewed by the GAO were closed by the Justice Department because it didn't meet regulatory requirements, including that a retaliation complaint was made to the "wrong person."

Grassley wants to know how many cases dismissed because an employee didn't tell the correct person about their retaliation complaint; and how many of those cases were investigated by the FBI.

The Iowa Republican added that the "discrepancy" between FBI employees disciplined for whistleblower retaliation and the number of complaints the committee receives "merits continued oversight.

"Punishing such retaliators is necessary to change the culture of the Bureau and to send a clear message that retaliation will not be tolerated," he said.

According to the GAO report, the FBI can also "provide remedies" to whistleblowers who were retaliated against.

Grassley wants details on the remedies, how many FBI employees have received the remedies regardless of whether the employee who was punished, and how the FBI ensures whistleblowers who request the remedies aren't retaliated against.

He asks that Comey respond to his letter by Oct. 2.