A trio of witnesses being called as "whistleblowers" by the GOP committee investigating the "weaponization" of government were paid off by a Trump ally and spread conspiracy theories, reported The New York Times on Thursday.
"The first three witnesses to testify privately before the new Republican-led House committee investigating the 'weaponization' of the federal government have offered little firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing or violation of the law, according to Democrats on the panel who have listened to their accounts," reported Luke Broadwater and Adam Goldman. "Instead, the trio appears to be a group of aggrieved former F.B.I. officials who have trafficked in right-wing conspiracy theories, including about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, and received financial support from a top ally of former President Donald J. Trump."
"The roster of witnesses, whose interviews and statements are detailed in a 316-page report compiled by Democrats that was obtained by The New York Times, suggests that Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the panel, has so far relied on people who do not meet the definition of a whistle-blower and who have engaged in partisan conduct that calls into question their credibility," said the report. "And it raises questions about whether Republicans, who have said that investigating the Biden administration is a top goal, will be able to deliver on their ambitious plans to uncover misdeeds at the highest levels."
The three witnesses in question, per the report, are "George Hill, a retired F.B.I. supervisory intelligence analyst from the bureau’s Boston field office; Stephen Friend, a former special agent who worked in the Daytona Beach office; and Garret O’Boyle, a special agent from the field office in Wichita, Kan., who has been suspended."
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They have promoted conspiracy theories; Hill wrote on Twitter that the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a "set up." Meanwhile, O'Boyle and Friend have admitted to receiving financial aid from Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Trump associate who has testified in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.
"The Democratic report includes excerpts from depositions and evidence of conspiratorial social media posts," noted the report. "It also details the ties between Mr. Trump’s inner circle and the witnesses. For instance, Mr. Patel found Mr. Friend his next job, working as a fellow on domestic intelligence and security services with the Center for Renewing America, which is run by Russ Vought. The center is largely funded by the Conservative Partnership Institute, which is run by Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, and former Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina."