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In a preview of what’s to come, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have warned the FBI and Justice Department that they plan to investigate both agencies if their party regains the House of Representatives. And on Friday, they released a 1,000-page report on denunciations of “an endemic culture of irresponsibility, manipulation and abuse at the highest level”.
Republicans will more than likely take over the House, and possibly the Senate, with the party heavily favored to win midterm elections in several congressional districts.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who heads the DOJ, and another to FBI Director Christopher Wray, requesting documents relating to the committee’s investigations that lurking in the not too distant future. The report, titled FBI whistleblowers: What their revelations say about the politicization of the FBI and the Justice Department, alleges political corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, according to a press release from the House Judiciary Republicans. Republicans say in the report that whistleblowers have brought to their attention “allegations of political bias by FBI senior management and abuse of the agency’s federal law enforcement powers.” “. The report, while primarily focused on the FBI, also targets the Department of Justice.
In response to a request for comment on the letter and report, the FBI told NPR that it had testified before Congress and responded to letters from lawmakers numerous times to ensure there was an account. precise about their work. He went on to say that its members are dedicated to protecting Americans from terrorism, violent crime and other dangers, all without a political agenda.
“Put simply: we follow the facts without regard to politics,” the FBI said in a written statement. “While outside opinions and criticism often accompany the work, we will continue to follow the facts wherever they lead, do things by the rules and speak through our work.”
The DOJ told NPR it declined to comment on the case.
Both letters and the report come just days before the close of the 2022 midterm elections, addressing a handful of burning Republican issues, including, but not limited to: domestic violent extremism; the allegations against President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden; and the FBI raid on former President Trump’s home where agents seized classified documents, which are the subject of an ongoing legal battle.
Jordan and the committee’s Republicans accuse the FBI of “artificially inflating and manipulating domestic violent extremism statistics for political purposes,” in their report, saying the bureau “fuels the Biden administration’s narrative that domestic violent extremism is the greatest threat to our nation.”
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a report in October on Assessing Strategic Intelligence and Domestic Terrorism Data, which says domestic violent extremists pose one of the most persistent threats to the country. The report listed more than 30 incidents from 2020 and 2021 which it classified as significant cases of domestic terrorism incidents.
“These individuals are often radicalized online and seek to carry out attacks with easily accessible weapons,” the report said. “Many of these violent extremists are motivated and inspired by a mixture of ideological, socio-political and personal grievances against their targets.”
According to the report, anti-government or anti-authority and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism accounted for 77% of FBI domestic terrorism investigations in 2020 and 57% in 2021. And, a significant portion of 2021 investigations were directly related to the January 2021 Capitol siege, the report notes.
In his letters to both agencies, Jordan set Nov. 16 as the deadline for handing over documents requested by House judicial Republicans.
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