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FBI reinstates security clearance of official who claimed whistleblower status

The FBI has reinstated the security clearance — and authorized 27 months of back pay — for an official once suspected of misconduct related to investigations of Jan. 6 defendants.

Marcus Allen drew scrutiny within the bureau for allegations he withheld “relevant information” related to an investigation of Jan. 6 defendants. Then, shortly before Allen testified to a House GOP committee investigating the Justice Department’s probes, the bureau indicated it had revoked Allen’s clearance altogether.

“My decision to reinstate your security clearance is based upon a determination that the original security concerns have been investigated and have been sufficiently mitigated,” FBI Executive Assistant Director Timothy Dunham wrote in a May 31 letter reviewed by POLITICO.

Allen, who joined a panel of FBI agents last year who described themselves as “whistleblowers,” protested the FBI’s decision to revoke his clearance and sought a review from Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The IG recently raised concerns about the way officials handle security clearance suspensions, particularly for officials who claim “retaliation” from their superiors.

“This is total vindication for Marcus,” said Tristan Leavitt, president of Empower Oversight, which represented Allen and others who have claimed whistleblower status to testify to Congress. “The FBI has completely backed down and provided everything that we had asked for on behalf of Marcus. It’s clear from the evidence and the FBI’s capitulation there was absolutely no truth to their accusations.”

The FBI acknowledged the settlement in a statement but said it couldn’t comment on the specifics of the agreement.

“[B]oth parties agreed to resolve this matter without either admitting wrongdoing,” the bureau said in a statement. “Any allegation that the Director lied to Congress is false. The FBI takes seriously its responsibility to FBI employees who make protected disclosures under whistleblower regulations, and we are committed to ensuring they are protected from retaliation.”

CLARIFICATION: This post has been updated to specify Allen’s role at the FBI. He was an operations specialist.

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