Two Republican congressmen sent a letter Friday to the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) raising concerns over the Biden administration’s alleged “retaliation” against a senior Border Patrol official who is also a witness to their investigation.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green sent a letter to Troy Miller, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner of CBP, saying that they’ve been informed by a whistleblower that Chief Patrol Agent of the El Centro Border Sector Gregory Bovino was relieved of his duties and reassigned to headquarters after giving testimony as a witness in their probe into the crisis at the southern border. CBP also allegedly barred Bovino from testifying before a full House committee because his prepared remarks didn’t please agency officials, according to the letter. (RELATED: Mayorkas Brags About Using Term ‘Illegal Alien’ During Conversation About Migrants Exploiting Border Crisis)
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
We have learned that hours after Gregory K. Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent of the El Centro Border Patrol Sector, sat with our committee for a voluntary transcribed interview, Chief Bovino was relieved of his command over the El Centro Sector and was reassigned to a…
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) July 21, 2023
“We write with deep concern that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials may have retaliated against a witness in a Congressional investigation. The Committees have received an allegation from a credible whistleblower with extensive experience in and knowledge of CBP personnel practices that—within hours of concluding a voluntary transcribed interview with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Homeland Security on July 12, 2023, [Bovino] was relieved of his command over the El Centro Sector and reassigned to a vague, indefinite, and temporary headquarters assignment,” the letter reads.
CBP denied the allegations in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“This accusation is categorically false. This temporary personnel assignment is entirely unrelated to any Congressional testimony or appearance, and was in process prior to the Chief’s transcribed interview,” a CBP spokesperson told the DCNF.
Comer and Green requested that Miller provide the documents and communications discussing the issue, according to the letter.
“Given the suspicious timing of the reassignment coinciding with Chief Bovino’s cooperation with a Congressional inquiry, we demand CBP account for the current status of Chief Bovino’s employment and assignment within the U.S. Border Patrol, provide documents and communications relevant to any reassignment and the reasons for any related employment action, and brief the Committee on this matter,” the letter added.
“The ability of Congress to receive truthful testimony about the activities of the Executive Branch is paramount to performing essential oversight functions necessary to inform the legislative process. Any retaliation against witnesses who cooperate with Congressional inquiries will not be tolerated, especially when that retaliation may have been committed by government officials,” the letter reads.
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