FIRST ON FOX: Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray this week regarding officers who were seen kneeling before Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in 2020.
Several FBI officers were photographed kneeling during a June 4, 2020, demonstration in Washington, D.C. The protests during summer 2020 often turned into violent riots across the country in outrage over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Some agents who kneeled reportedly received commendations from FBI executive management, Gaetz claimed in his letter, and the Florida congressman demanded to know whether their support for the demonstrators contributed to their career advancement.
“Many FBI personnel we were trusting to be on the front lines were photographed kneeling in surrender to people who at times were violent,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital in an interview.
Gaetz says one of the kneeling agents appears to be Washington field office assistant special agent in charge Sarah Linden.
Gaetz said he heard from a whistleblower and other information that “people were rewarded for this at [the] FBI with plum personnel opportunities and promotions and advancements.”
“To climb the ladder in federal employment, you shouldn’t have to shimmy up the woke totem pole,” Gaetz added, asking Wray “about how various personnel engaged in these acts of supplication were then given plum professional opportunities.”
Gaetz said the “FBI’s behavior is demoralizing” to law enforcement from the local to the federal levels and that “it showcases a real misunderstanding of the purpose of law enforcement.”
“The purpose of law enforcement is to keep people safe, not to engage in politics,” Gaetz said. “And for the last several years, we’ve seen the FBI more interested in virtue signaling and political activity than in just the nuts and bolts in evaluating the facts and the law.”
The Florida Republican named Linden in his letter to Wray, telling Fox News Digital he sent the letter to get “confirmation” that the whistleblower information he received was correct.
“And Sarah Linden, we understand, now is leading the criminal division of the Washington field office,” Gaetz said. “And if that’s the case, we want to know that that was a decision based on merit, not a decision solely as a consequence of a political performance.”
When asked about his confidence level that the agent wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask in the picture was Linden, Gaetz said: “That’s why we’ve asked the question.”
“We have reason to believe that’s who it is and that’s what we are seeking to confirm,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz said he did not know the identities of the other kneeling agents, but that “we’ll see if their careers got an otherwise unwarranted updraft as a consequence.”
The Florida Republican added that the “Biden administration seeks to reward those who participate in these virtue signals rather than doing their job.”
“Wasn’t it the Biden administration that wanted to have the intricacies of nuclear energy handled by the suitcase-stealing weirdo?” he added, referring to embattled former senior Department of Energy official Sam Brinton.
In the letter exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, Gaetz noted the 2020 “coordinated” summer riots that caused “millions of dollars in property damage” as well as the May 29, 2020, altercation where “violent protestors threw rocks, urine, and alcohol at United States Secret Service Agents, injuring over 60 of them.”
“Some protestors also scaled the barriers to the White House and Department of the Treasury complex,” Gaetz wrote.
“This shameful and unprecedented violence took place over several days, and included the arson attack on St. John’s Episcopal Church adjacent to the White House. During these events, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel were quite literally ‘on the line’ defending our nation’s Capitol in an attack that has not been surpassed since in either its scope or violence.”
“Perhaps in an effort to placate the mob, on June 4, 2020, at least six alleged FBI agents were filmed kneeling in supplication,” Gaetz wrote. He claimed that Linden appeared to be “expressing her support for these seditious riots that caused so much destruction.”
Gaetz gave Wray a July 7 deadline to respond to his questions.
The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.