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Rep. Langworthy Proposes Bill to Protect Whistleblowers


Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23) introduced the Protect Whistleblowers from Retribution Act to strengthen protection for whistleblowers within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“Whistleblowers are essential to oversight of our government agencies, serving as the watchdogs for integrity and accountability, and their protection is the hallmark of a healthy democracy,” said Congressman Langworthy. “Unfortunately, the FBI and DOJ have a long history of quieting whistleblowers by pulling security clearances, delaying investigations, and ending their careers. The Protect Whistleblowers from Retribution Act will ensure those who come forward to do the right thing are able to do so without fearing for their future.”

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government revealed in its interim report published in May 2023 that FBI whistleblowers often have their clearances held hostage, keeping them from moving on from their positions within the DOJ and finding work in their field of choice.

Specifically, the Protect Whistleblowers from Retribution Act would:

    • Clarify investigative authority: Ensure the DOJ Inspector General (IG) is the sole, independent investigative body for whistleblower retaliation investigations.


    • Establish reasonable investigation timelines: Require the DOJ IG to communicate in a consistent and timely manner with the impacted whistleblower and complete the investigation within 240 days, putting a stop to the endless delays.


    • Protect security clearances: Prohibit the freezing of clearances as a personnel practice and expunge whistleblower security records if the DOJ is found to have used the clearance in a retaliatory fashion.


    • Grant equal appeal rights: Secures the FBI’s whistleblower’s right to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), ensuring that this right is afforded the same as it is to every other federal employee.


    • Enhance transparency: Require reports from the DOJ IG on the length of investigations into whistleblower retaliation, the number of reprisals determined in such investigations, the number of investigations sent to MSPB, and the number of times the Attorney General did not implement corrective action.

This legislation is cosponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Barry Moore (R-AL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI).

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