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Testimony on Improving FBI Whistleblower Protections

Michael German testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about how current Justice Department guidelines fail to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Published: March 4, 2015

Former FBI agent and Bren­nan Center Fellow Michael German test­i­fied at a Senate Judi­ciary Commit­tee hear­ing about how current Justice Depart­ment guidelines fail to protect whis­tleblowers from retali­ation by the FBI. The hear­ing follows the release of a Govern­ment Account­ab­il­ity Office report that finds that the Justice Depart­ment regu­la­tions and proced­ures for invest­ig­at­ing and adju­dic­at­ing FBI whis­tleblower claims are inad­equate and need to be reformed.

German left the FBI after a 16-year career when FBI managers and the Inspector General failed to protect him from retali­ation for intern­ally report­ing a misman­aged terror­ism invest­ig­a­tion. His testi­mony lays out concrete steps Congress can take to reform whis­tleblower protec­tions in the future.

“Today, FBI whis­tleblowers have little chance of being heard, much less receiv­ing timely relief from repris­als, or correct­ive action to make them whole. The Justice Depart­ment regu­la­tions func­tion more as a trap for the unwary rather than a shield of protec­tion,” German said. “But the door is now open for Congress to enact legis­la­tion that would codify reforms that will finally provide the protec­tions that the hard-work­ing and conscien­tious FBI employ­ees deserve.”

Read the testi­mony [PDF]

Michael German’s Testi­mony on Whis­tleblower Protec­tions