U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whistleblower James Schwab claims the government is trying to intimidate him after federal agents interrupted his interview, according to a CBS News report released Thursday.
Two agents from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s Office appeared at Mr. Schwab’s home Wednesday as he was interviewing with CBS News’ Jamie Yuccas.
“Why, three months later, are we doing this?” Mr. Schwab said to CBS News. “This is intimidation. And this is why people won’t come out and speak against the government.”
He explained that the agents asked about the leak to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, which was the start of the scandal that Mr. Schwab left ICE over.
Mr. Schwab claims that after Ms. Schaaf warned her city of an upcoming ICE raid in February, he was asked to give a “spin statement” on the incident.
He released a media statement saying that some people “eluded” ICE because of the mayor’s actions, even though Mr. Schwab claimed that was not true. Afterwards, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said ICE lost out on 800 arrests.
Mr. Schwab said his superiors ordered him to not contradict Mr. Sessions, so he left the agency.
Mr. Schwab denied leaking information to Ms. Schaaf.
“Never. I would never tell her. I would never tell anyone. … They were very serious. He was very stern with me, and it was concerning,” he told CBS News.
The report noted that ICE denied Mr. Schwab’s claims about his orders to misinform and lie to the public.
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