In November 2019, federal prosecutors in Michigan indicted a man on charges of making death threats against Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower at the center of the Trump impeachment proceedings, according to recently unsealed court filings. The message to Zaid came on the heels of a November 2019 rally in which President Trump read aloud tweets by Zaid, commenting: “These people are bad people, and it’s so bad what they do to our country. They rip the guts out of our country.”
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Rep. Maxine Waters issued an open letter to potential whistleblowers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) late last week.The California Democrat’s letter was addressed to agency employees who witness waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement. It asks that they “please do not hesitate to alert me and my staff” if they witness any such bureaucratic misconduct. Her action was in response to reports of low morale at the agency.

CFPB logoIn a Monday Washington Post column about Waters’ letter, Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, agreed —  with a caveat: “Whistleblowers are protected by federal law . . . Given the problems with federal whistleblower protection, we recommend that any whistleblower approaching Congress ensure that they can maintain anonymity.” He’s also noted that the system does not offer federal employees rewards, and access to federal court jury trials is limited. In addition, the WPA does not apply to intelligence and national security agencies. 
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Members of the “Whistleblower 101” panel held on Thursday morning.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Caucus hosted a “Whistleblower 101” educational workshop on Thursday morning. The event, held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, featured a panel of experts from Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), National Security Agency (NSA), and Department of Justice (DOJ). Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Stephen M. Kohn was the moderator of the panel.


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Grassley: FBI, DOJ Employees Have Protections, Legal Right to Blow the WhistleLongtime advocate of whistleblower protections Sen. Chuck Grassley delivered a strongly-worded floor statement to the United States Senate on Thursday, saying that FBI whistleblowers, and all federal law enforcement agents, are protected when reporting misconduct to Congress, and they should not fear retaliation. The Senator from Iowa and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared up any misconception of agents not being able to approach Congress without a subpoena.
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Over the weekend the Daily Beast reported on a leaked draft investigative report that exposed the systemic failures in the flawed intelligence community whistleblower program. According to this report, late last year the Trump Administration put a lid on the finalization of an investigation of the whistleblower program failures by the Inspector General for all intelligence agencies. 
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In a memo dated January 29, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed Department of Justice (DOJ) heads to not communicate with “senators, representatives, congressional committees, or congressional staff” without first consulting with the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a long-time advocate for whistleblower rights, has expressed his concern regarding the legality of the Attorney Sessions’ memo. In his response letter, Grassley writes that the memo “does not appear to comply with existing law.” In particular, it infringes on the rights of DOJ employees to “make protected disclosures directly to Congress.”


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