On Wednesday, Congressmen Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson of the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Jill Sanborn, former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, requesting that she provide an interview to committee staff. The subject was alleged inflating of “domestic violent extremism” cases by the FBI:
On July 27, 2022, we wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray about whistleblower disclosures that FBI officials were pressuring agents to reclassify cases as “domestic violent extremism” (DVEs) even if the cases do not meet the criteria for such a classification.
This is significant because increasingly, “domestic violent extremism” has explicitly or implicitly been cast as right-wing extremism.
Whistleblower disclosures made by multiple FBI employees from different field offices suggest that FBI agents are bolstering the number of cases of DVEs to satisfy their supervisors. For example, one whistleblower explained that because agents are not finding enough DVE cases, they are encouraged and incentivized to reclassify cases as DVE cases even though there is minimal, circumstantial evidence to support the reclassification. Another whistleblower stated that a field office Counterterrorism Assistant Special Agent in Charge and the FBI’s then-Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division pressured agents to move cases into the DVE category to hit self-created performance metrics. This whistleblower identified you as one official who exerted pressure on agents to reclassify cases as DVE matters.
We are investigating several allegations concerning the politicization of the FBI, including allegations that the FBI is padding its DVE data.
“Whistleblowers” can’t always be trusted, of course. But these claims have a ring of truth, in part because they are borne out by statistics. Two weeks ago, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Division Matthew Olsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the allegation that the FBI is inflating DVE numbers:
Representative Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the panel, asserted that “multiple whistleblowers” had approached House Judiciary Republicans, alleging that FBI officials were pressuring field agents to categorize cases as domestic violent extremism, even though they did not meet the criteria for such classification.
“Are you juicing the numbers?” Jordan asked.
Olsen responded that he was not aware of the accusations.
The numbers certainly raise questions:
The FBI tracks several categories of domestic violent extremists. White supremacists and anti-government militias have been responsible for most deadly attacks in recent years.
In his prepared testimony, Olsen said FBI investigations of domestic violent extremism cases have more than doubled since 2020.
Imagine that! Cases have more than doubled since the Biden administration took charge of the DOJ and the FBI. This is partly because “[h]undreds of these cases stemmed from the January 6, 2021, mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. The FBI is investigating the attack as ‘domestic terrorism.'” As opposed to misguided tourism, which in many cases it appears to have been.
Last September, [FBI Director Christopher] Wray told lawmakers that the number of active domestic violent terrorism cases had jumped from about 1,000 in early 2020 to 2,700, while the number of so-called homegrown violent extremist cases remained stable, at around 1,000.
It seems obvious that this focus on “domestic violent extremists,” real or imagined, dovetails with the Bureau’s hyping of “Militia Violent Extremism”–watch for the Betsy Ross flag!–as part of the FBI’s devotion to the political interests of the Democratic Party.