FBI rewards agents who took a knee to Black Lives Matter during 2020 riots

by WorldTribune Staff, October 23, 2022

The Department of Justice states: “Political activity is activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. The statute carries serious penalties including removal from federal employment.”

But the FBI did not remove agents who clearly displayed a partisan political leaning toward a specific group, Black Lives Matter, during the 2020 George Floyd protests and riots. In fact, the bureau rewarded the agents with promotions and gift cards, The Washington Times reported.

On-duty FBI agents take a knee during BLM protests in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2020. / Twitter

The Washington Times noted that one FBI agent who, while on duty, demonstrated solidarity with Black Lives Matter marchers in D.C. by “taking a knee” as the protesters passed was rewarded with a promotion to a supervisor rank.

Among six on-duty agents in full FBI gear who “took a knee” in a bow to BLM protesters in the nation’s capital was a female agent who later was promoted to the No. 2 supervisory post at the Washington field office.

Larissa Knapp, the counterterrorism special agent in charge at the D.C. field office, praised the agents who took a knee, the report said. Knapp said the kneeling agents de-escalated a confrontation that could have turned violent.

Human Events Daily host Jack Posobiec noted: “They awarded the FBI agents for this, they said ‘hey, we love what you did. Great job. We’re here to support you.’ They get gift cards and these nice awards. Is this the kind of America that you want? The kind of America where Steve Bannon goes to jail. If only Steve Bannon had been marching up and down Kay street, setting things on fire, setting the historic St. John church on fire next to the White House, if only he’d have been with them, he would have been perfectly fine. He would have received an apology from the federal government. If only Steven K Bannon had been protesting Trump’s inauguration and attacking it as Antifa did. Remember, the J20 defendants from Trump’s inauguration who attacked not only were all their charges filed and dropped… But they received a $1.2 million settlement from the ACLU and the city of Washington, D.C. That’s what they got.”

FBI whistleblower Kyle Seraphin, who has been suspended from his job at the bureau, said he witnessed Knapp shower praise on the agents when all the employees gathered in the conference room of the assistant director in charge to discuss “presence patrols.”

Knapp hugged each of the “kneeling agents” for their action at the protest, Seraphin said. He said he shook his head in disbelief before Knapp yelled at him.

“So she focused her tirade about how ‘they were heroes … saved lives and they did the right thing. I called [Director Christopher A. Wray] to say how proud I was they de-escalated things. I don’t want to see anyone looking sideways at them,’ ” Seraphin recalled Knapp saying.

The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), a private, professional association, told The Washington Times it provided gift cards of “modest value” and personal notes to the kneeling agents for “exercising their professional judgment to diffuse a tense situation and avoid violence.”

A former FBI official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Times that some of those gathered in the conference room were saying: “ ‘That’s pretty disgraceful what they did. We’re not supposed to take sides.’ ”

Seraphin said joining the BLM protest should have been viewed as a policy violation of the Hatch Act, a law that prevents federal workers from engaging in political activity while on duty, in a federal facility, or using government resources. The FBI contends that that all bureau employees are subject to the Hatch Act.

“There were plenty of other agents who were at the scene who did not take a knee, and they said, ‘Look, we didn’t feel threatened,’ ” he said.

The report noted that several FBI agents had said there is a stark difference in how the DOJ viewed Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington.

Seraphin said higher ups punished some FBI employees for going to President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. Even though the FBI employees did not join those who breached the Capitol, the bureau eliminated their security clearances.

“The entire world has changed in the last year and a half after June 6, and news started to come out about FBI employees who simply attended a rally having their clearances pulled,” a former FBI employee told the Washington Times, adding that the FBI used any string possible to connect an employee close to the Capitol that day to the so-called “insurrection,” the former employee said.

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