Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has called upon the FBI to provide answers regarding agents who knelt before Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters during the riots in Washington in 2020.
In a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Gaetz expressed concerns about the conduct of the agents and the potential rewards they may have received for their actions.
Allegations of Kneeling to “Placate the Mob”
Rep. Gaetz suggested that, based on video evidence, at least six FBI agents knelt in supplication before BLM protesters during the riots on June 4, 2020.
He raised suspicions that one of the agents, Sarah Linden, may have received a promotion for her actions. Gaetz questioned whether the agents knelt to appease the mob and potentially gain favor with the protesters.
Gaetz’s Concerns and Whistleblower Testimony
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Gaetz shared that he had received information from sources, including a whistleblower, indicating that more than one agent had been rewarded with favorable personnel opportunities and promotions for their act of kneeling.
He condemned this as a surrender to individuals who had, at times, engaged in violent behavior.
The Washington Riots and George Floyd’s Death
The disruption in Washington was part of the nationwide wave of protests and riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Gaetz acknowledged the challenging circumstances faced by FBI agents who were on duty during the riots, protecting the public and preventing vandalism.
Focus on Agent Sarah Linden
Gaetz specifically singled out Agent Sarah Linden, attaching a photograph he believed to be her expressing support for the riots.
He inquired whether Linden currently held the position of Acting Special Agent in charge for the Criminal Division within the Washington Field Office and questioned whether the bureau was aware of her alleged support for the attacks on FBI and other federal personnel during the promotion process.
Rep. Gaetz presented a series of questions for Director Wray, seeking clarification on the FBI’s knowledge of Linden’s alleged support for the attacks.
Are FBI promotions based on merit alone?
He also inquired about the existence of policies or procedures within the FBI to prevent career promotions for individuals who express support for organizations and movements seeking the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Prior to addressing Agent Linden’s conduct, Gaetz provided a summary of the physical assaults on law enforcement and acts of vandalism that occurred in Washington during the period of national unrest. He mentioned violent protesters throwing rocks, urine, and alcohol at United States Secret Service Agents, resulting in injuries to over 60 agents.
Gaetz also referenced incidents such as protesters scaling barriers to the White House and the arson attack on St. John’s Episcopal Church adjacent to the White House.
FBI refrains from commenting on individual matters
The FBI confirmed receipt of Gaetz’s letter but declined to comment on specific personnel matters. The agency stated that promotions within the FBI are competitive and based on merit.
Rep. Mat Gaetz’s demand for answers from the FBI regarding agents kneeling before BLM protesters during the 2020 riots in Washington highlights concerns about potential rewards for such actions.
Gaetz’s letter raises questions about Agent Sarah Linden and her alleged support for attacks on FBI and federal personnel during the promotion process.
The FBI’s response, while confirming receipt of the letter, refrained from commenting on individual personnel matters. The situation remains under scrutiny as Gaetz awaits the FBI’s response to his queries.