(NewsNation) — As a House select subcommittee is probing accusations the FBI suppresses whistleblowers, a former FBI agent said the investigation raises concerns about what policies are in place and how comfortable and protected agents feel in regard to addressing issues.
Tracy Walder, who is also a former CIA agent, told NewsNation that she didn’t experience problems at the CIA but experienced sexual harassment while serving with the FBI. However, she didn’t know if there were sexual harassment policies, and “felt retaliated against” when she did come forward.
“I did not know what the whistleblower policy was,” Walder said. “In fact, I’m not even sure that we had them in regards to sexual harassment. And that is problematic. People do need to have an environment where they do feel comfortable in regards to coming forward.”
Walder said about 665 FBI agents left the agency between 2004 and 2020, and were facing sexual harassment charges and issues.
She said she went through all the protocols that she thought were needed in her case, but she felt that she suffered consequences for it.
“The person it was against was my supervisor. He was able to stay in his position. My, I guess, consequence, until (my claim) was resolved, was to be relocated to an office about three hours away with no moving fees.”
Walder said she chose to leave because she couldn’t afford to relocate on her own and be moved to an office three hours away.
In 2019, about about 17 women launched a gender discrimination complaint against the FBI, detailing things that they had experienced, Walder said. Those women also chose to leave the agency.
On Thursday, the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, heard testimony from FBI whistleblowers regarding alleged abuse seen at the agency, as well as ways in which the FBI may have retaliated against them.
One of the two whistleblowers has said that the FBI departed from standard procedures and put a heavy focus on investigating cases involving the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.
The other told lawmakers that FBI leadership instructed him to target anti-abortion supporters while focusing on the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Both also claimed FBI leadership told them to inflate statistics dealing with domestic violent extremism.