Preliminary Actions Against Mulder
In 1993, after Special Agent Fox Mulder was captured by the military while intruding on an area of Townsend, Wisconsin that had been evacuated and quarantined as part of Operation Falcon, Joseph McGrath stepped over Chief Blevins, ordering a full inquiry with a recommendation that the X-files be shut down and that Mulder be ousted out of the FBI.
Assigned to bring Mulder back, Special Agent Dana Scully relayed news of McGrath's actions to him, sarcastically advising him to try explaining to McGrath that he had gone there in hope of having a close encounter, and, after Mulder was released, Scully warned him on at least two occasions that an OPR hearing was to be held at 10 a.m. the next morning, even though he insisted on investigating the possibility of an alien presence in the area until then.
Reading Mulder's Report & Questioning Scully
At 10:17 a.m., the Section Chief interrogated Scully while sitting beside several other OPR members, although he was the only present OPR representative who spoke. McGrath asked Scully whether, to the best of her knowledge, Agent Mulder had ever been assigned to investigate matters related to the evacuation of Townsend, Wisconsin and if, at any time, she had been aware of his submitting a form 302 requesting such an assignment or travel expenses but Scully respectfully replied negatively to both these questions. McGrath also asked her if, while in Wisconsin, Mulder had driven a blue Ford Taurus registered to the state car rental agency, to which Scully admitted that Mulder had.
The Section Chief then thanked Scully and, even though she appealed for permission to make a statement, her request to do so was denied by McGrath. When she nevertheless twice tried to make a comment, McGrath, on both times, interrupted Scully, dismissing her, and she eventually left the hearing.
Arguing with Mulder
After Mulder hobbled into the room on crutches, McGrath asked him how he responded to allegations of insubordination and misconduct, but Mulder did not directly answer the question, instead implying that he believed that such a query, regarding issues of protocol, was trivial because over a dozen men had lost their lives. McGrath reminded Mulder that he had failed to obtain proper authorization for his actions, but Mulder replied that he had not sought authorization because he had known it would not be forthcoming. McGrath recounted that Mulder had also violated a federal quarantine and - when Mulder, raising his voice, attempted to interrupt the Section Chief in response that a cover-up had been under way - McGrath raised his own voice to continue, in ignorance of Mulder's response, that the FBI agent's violation of the quarantine had exposed himself and possibly others to toxic contamination which Mulder, yelling back in disbelief, rhetorically wondered if they were back to, as the official explanation.
In response to Mulder both recalling aloud that the Section Chief had read his report and then challenging McGrath to explain Max Fenig's disappearance, McGrath argued that Mulder's report was not the subject of the current inquiry. He judged evidence that Mulder subsequently cited, specifically that an implant had apparently been found in Max Fenig's body, as being irrelevant and disputed, in increased agitation, Mulder's insistence that Fenig had been abducted by stating that, according to Colonel Henderson's written testimony, Fenig's body had been found in a cargo container, two hours after Fenig's disappearance.
When a pause proceeded the argument and Mulder subsequently wondered what he could say to disprove lies that were stamped with an official seal, McGrath, in frustrated politeness, dismissed Mulder, who nevertheless warned, before exiting, that all the things he had seen and discovered could be denied but not for much longer because too many others knew the truth.
Meeting with a Mysterious Man
In a courtyard outside an office building, Section Chief McGrath angrily stalked up to a man known as "Deep Throat", irritated that the man had countermanded the Section Chief's decision and mentioning that Mulder's conduct had been in clear violation not only of Bureau procedures but of federal law, a remark that Deep Throat agreed with. McGrath admitted that he did not understand as, even though the committee's case had been airtight, Deep Throat had ruined their last best chance to rid themselves of Mulder. Replying to Deep Throat then commenting that he appreciated McGrath's frustration but that Mulder's occasional insubordination was ultimately far less dangerous, McGrath respectfully asked his superior what it was less dangerous than, prompting Deep Throat to continue explaining that he thought the FBI agent's insubordination was not as dangerous as risking Mulder expose what he knew or thought he knew to the wrong people. (TXF: "Fallen Angel")
- The character of Joseph McGrath was played by Frederick Coffin.