An FBI whistleblower who was recently suspended said in an interview this week that he became a whistleblower last November because of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s email ordering the FBI to use Patriot Act counterterrorism tools to target parents at school board meetings.
Special Agent Kyle Seraphin, who was indefinitely suspended on June 1 after nearly six years with the Bureau, said that he was so disturbed by the directive, he went to his congresswoman’s office in New Mexico, and made a “protected disclosure.”
Garland announced the creation of the tag “EDUOFFICIALS” to track school board meeting related threats in an email sent to Justice Department employees in October of 2021.
Investigations were opened on parents based on anonymous tips, and agents had to surveil and interview ordinary moms and dads who got caught up in the dragnet.
In a two-part interview with conservative radio host Dan Bongino, Seraphin said that most of his colleagues didn’t appreciate the political nature of these cases, and just did “cursory investigations” before shutting them down.
Nonetheless, he said, there are many parents out there who have no idea the Bureau has case files them and that agents have combed through their financial information just because they may have said something deemed inappropriate at a school board meeting.
Seraphin told Bongino that the Bureau was putting resources towards something that should have been a state and local issue, and that he knew it was happening because of political pressure from the left-wing National School Boards Association (NSBA).
“That’s when you become part of political hatchet jobs, and I didn’t sign up for that, and nobody I know signed up for that either,” he said. “That’s not what people want to get involved in.”
When Bongino said he was “stunned” more FBI employees weren’t standing up, the whistleblower said, “it’s more than people think.”
Seraphin, who has worked in multiple field offices in the counterterrorism division, said there are about 40 whistleblowers who have now spoken to Republican members of Congress.
He told told Bongino that a lot of guys have left the FBI because they refused to be a part of this abusive system. But many others “have kids and a mortgage,” and are willing to hang on for 20 years so they can retire with the Bureau’s generous pension.
“The number of guys who say, ‘I don’t agree with what’s going on here, but I’ve got three years to retire’—it’s heartbreaking,” he said, adding that he believes this is a universal problem throughout government, but is particularly dangerous in the FBI because of the power it wields. But when “these leads come in” about parents complaining at school board meetings, “nobody is excited,” he said.
Seraphin stressed that discontent within the ranks is widespread throughout the Bureau.
He said the first thing FBI agents do when they sit down together is “bitch about the management, complain about the structure, and complain about how it’s not how it used to be.”
He added: “This is not what they signed up with.”
The whistleblower said he told his congresswoman that the FBI’s school board meeting investigations “look really wrong to me and we shouldn’t be engaged in that with government resources.”
“That could be me,” he told Bongino, referring to enraged parents at school board meetings. “I’ve got kids. I’m a parent. I could get hot at a school board meeting over stuff they have no business telling schoolchildren.”
Seraphin explained that it’s a misnomer to think of the FBI as the nation’s premier law enforcement agency because most of what they do is intelligence gathering.
He said an innocent person could be surveilled for years simply because they had a connection online to a suspected terrorist.
“This is an intelligence investigation. It has nothing to do with crime. There’s no allegation that there was a crime.”
Criminality is what law enforcement is looking for. We’re looking for information in this case. It has nothing to do with whether you have done anything wrong, or if there’s even an allegation that you did anything wrong.
It’s terrifying,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons I asked to get out of there. Because I didn’t want to be involved in that.”
Seraphin said that even though he’s been suspended without pay, has “no rights and responsibilities,” and is not allowed to represent himself as an FBI agent, he is also not allowed to get another job without asking his supervisors for permission. His only other option is to resign, he said.
The whistleblower said he also got on the wrong side of the federal government when he asked for a religious exemption on the COVID vaccine mandate.
“I said I’m not going to get it. Still haven’t got it. I refuse,” Seraphin told the host. He explained that he had COVID in October of 2020, and thus has natural immunity.
He said that when the mandate was announced, he knew he needed a way to share information with other vaccine resisters within the Bureau, and with the help of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), he was able to round up 300 FBI employees who talk to each other on apps about what is happening at their field offices.
Seraphin said that about 3,000 FBI employees in all have refused to get the shots.
He told Bongino that he and his wife attended the pro-life march in Washington DC in 2020, and heard President Trump speak.
Seraphin also said he had friends who had planned to go to Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6: “Current agents, guys that were carrying the badge and the gun, were going to go to the rally, and just for logistical reasons didn’t make it,” he explained. “They were able to retire safely probably because of that mishap. Because otherwise, they would have been under investigation as far as I can tell.”
Two other friends, he said, were not so lucky.
“I know two guys that have been suspended without pay, and had their security clearance revoked for showing up to listen to the president of the United States speak,” he said. “The allegation is absurd–that they were engaging in the obstruction of a federal proceeding, or they had stopped a police officer in the performance of his duties.”
Seraphin said the agents told him they didn’t even see any police officers, and that they left “as soon as the tear gas came out,” and they saw “vans of antifa guys coming out, guys in black clothes.”
“These are good people,” the whistleblower insisted. “The FBI knows who they are and what they did to them, and to a number of others.”
Congressman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray in May of 2022 to complain that the FBI has been stripping employees of security clearances for attending Trump’s rally on January 6 while they were on official leave, and even though they “did not enter the U.S. Capitol.”
“While FBI employees may not participate in partisan political campaigns, [they] do not give up their rights to engage in political speech activity,” wrote Jordan. “We have serious concerns that the FBI appears to be retaliating against employees for engaging in political speech disfavored by FBI leadership,” he added.
Jordan wrote that several whistleblowers had spoken to Republicans on the committee, and that the Department of Justice inspector general had opened an investigation into potential violations of civil-service laws. The primary whistleblower for that complaint was described as a 20-year veteran of the FBI and U.S. military.
Seraphin said that he has friends who retired over the J6 investigations and gave up their pensions.
“The FBI bought in 100 percent to the hype” he lamented. “They say it is the biggest investigation they have ever done–bigger than 9/11–to me that’s incredible.”
They took supervisors who had done national security work, moved them to a specific building off site, and opened up approximately three squads. Agents shipped in from all over the country. A queue of tens of thousands of leads that had to be processed, and every one of them has to be looked at because any one of them could be the thing that breaks this case, whatever this case is.
Seraphin said most of the agents investigating the tips that came in to the FBI were “voluntolds,” agents who “volunteered” to join the J6 investigations after being told to go.
A lot of the leads the FBI received were from liberals snitching on neighbors for simple being Trump supporters, even if they didn’t go to the rally, the whistleblower said.
Seraphin cited as a typical lead: “I haven’t seen him in ten years, but he kind of looks like picture number 75, go get him!”
“If you sent that to me, I would throw that in the trash. That’s garbage. That’s not a lead,” he told Bongino. “That’s a crazy person to me.”
But the whistleblower said “half-baked” tips like that are routinely being tracked down by the FBI.
Normally, he pointed out, the Bureau doesn’t get involved investigating misdemeanor offenses.
He also revealed that he has read “counterterrorism affidavits that have outright lies in them,” and that are “factually inaccurate.” He said he was reporting these things to Congress because “everyone should know this.”
“You shouldn’t be able to put false information into a warrant and take somebody down for that,” the G-man said.
Seraphin noted that when he contacted the offices of two unidentified congressmen with this information, their chiefs of staff advised him against becoming a whistleblower and said that he should assume that people will come after him and his his family.
He told Bongino that his FBI friends have called him and jokingly asked if he sleeps with his weapon, and jokingly advised him to “watch out for the Clinton death squads.”
Seraphin said the contrast between how the Bureau handled the J6 riot and the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 “is obvious.”
During the BLM riots, the whistleblower said he was in a “surveillance role” rather than an investigative role, and was with the uniformed Secret Service the day after BLM and antifa rioters set fire to St. John’s Church.
“I was there when there were stacks of bricks on the ground all lined up, and they were covered with granola bars, which was bizarre,” he noted.
“Friends of mine had been getting in fights all night long,” he added. “They had put different SWAT teams on the line. But federal SWAT teams are not good at crowd control. They don’t have that training. They don’t have the equipment.” He later told Bongino that he had friends who had gotten hurt by the violent, brick-throwing mob while defending the White House.
“Did we investigate those people? Did we haul them down by the dozens and throw them in the D.C. jail system?” he asked. “Absolutely not.”
Seraphin said he also did a “two week stint” in Portland towards the tail end of their 100-day siege of the court house in 2020.
“I saw street battles in parks between the Portland Police Bureau and these goons that were just running around,” he recalled. “They looked like LARPing knights,” the g-man added, referring to the antifa street agitators. “I was just cracking up about it. If it wasn’t so sad and bizarre what was going on, it was hilarious to watch. I’d hear guys yell, ‘retreat!’ at the top of their lungs, and they’d all run off into a neighborhood.”
Seraphin said that the Portland cops on the line were “monsters” who were “absolutely just jacked studs.” He said just 12 of them could easily break a “phalanx of 60 of these goofballs running around in cartoon costumes.”
Bongino asked if there was ever any effort to do surveillance on the antifa organizers to see who was funding them.
Seraphin noted that he saw a federal target get arrested, interviewed, and let go the same night.
“How did we just let that happen? We knew there was a state charge. Can’t we just hold him?” he asked. “There was no appetite to do that.”
Five antifa goons on bikes chased an agent of 25 years, a former Marine, through the streets of Portland while he was driving a Nisson Armada, and there were no arrests. “You can’t make this up,” he said.
Seraphin told the host that all FBI agents are trained to know that if their superiors ask them to do something “that’s illegal, immoral, or unethical, ‘following orders’ is not an excuse.”
“Every single FBI agent has to go to the Holocaust Museum for a full day when they are at the academy,” he explained. “And they have a special program for law enforcement officers.”
It’s looking through the lens of how did this atrocity take place. And the only way it takes place is that minor government officials are on board and local law enforcement and state law enforcement and federal law enforcement have to say yes. Because if anybody refuses to get with the program, it doesn’t happen. And the answer, ‘I’m just following orders’ … doesn’t fly. We know that.
Seraphin said this is why the FBI can’t force him to get vaccinated if he doesn’t want to if it goes against his moral principles. “I’m not doing it,” he declared.
Law enforcement shouldn’t be in the political arena. I think we can all agree on that. And we don’t go after our former leaders, and we don’t go after opposition leaders. That’s Banana Republic stuff. It gets me heated to a level that I can’t stand.
We have an absolute responsibility to refuse to do things that are wrong. We can’t do it and have the America that we had growing up, and I don’t want to be part of it, so—
Seraphin told Bongino that FBI employees are becoming increasingly aware that the only way to stop the abuses at the Bureau is to talk to Republican members of Congress.
“There’s a path,” the whistleblower said, for people to go to members of Congress and “expose” the FBI’s malfeasance. “I think that it has to be done,” he said. “We have no other option at this point.”