Gym Jordan’s Fake Whistleblowers; Debt Ceiling Talks Crash

Republicans walked out of debt ceiling talks this morning, saying the White House isn’t being “reasonable.” I am hoping the White House is seriously considering some 14th Amendment option to just ignore Congress and give Treasury a go-ahead to borrow money as needed to pay debts. Don’t wait for a court ruling; just do it.

Do watch this segment from The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell from last night. He goes on a bit long at the beginning, so if you want to skip the first four or five minutes that’s okay. Just be sure to watch it to the end.

Gym Jordan is running his “protect Donald Trump from facing the law” committee like the petty, pissant tyrant that he is, ignoring House rules and making up his own rules as he goes along. He is trying to freeze Democrats on his committee out of participating in it, obviously. See also Steve Benen, Jim Jordan is inadvertently discrediting his own case against the FBI and Jim Jordan Freaks Out When Dem Confronts Him With House Rules by Justin Baragona at Daily Beast.

Part of Jordan’s problem is that his “whistleblowers” don’t meet the legal definition of whistleblower. He seems to think he can just designate somebody as a “whisleblower” as needed. His FBI “whistleblowers” are ex-employees who were terminated for various misconducts. Nikki Ramirez writes in Rolling Stone,

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio) claims he has testimony from “dozens” of whistleblowers who’ve provided him with proof that the FBI is unfairly persecuting conservatives. This doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

The first three of these witnesses whose testimony Jordan received were not really “whistleblowers,” but disaffected former FBI employees receiving financial backing from former President Trump’s ally and advisor Kash Patel. None of them have been given whistleblower protection status by the Department of Justice. 

Jordan held a hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday that featured two of these witnesses. During the hearing, Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.) confronted suspended FBI agent Garret O’Boyle and former agent Steve Friend as to whether they had received payments from Patel. Both admitted they had. …

… Friend was suspended by the FBI after refusing to participate in cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He was also one of three agents who had their security clearances revoked by the FBI, in his case for having “espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol” and downloading documents to “an unauthorized removable flash drive.” 

During questioning, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D- Va.) displayed tweets from the witnesses espousing conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot, including that undercover federal agents had been responsible for the attack. 

So yeah, it’s a mess.