The FBI is instructing its agents to reclassify cases as ‘domestic violent extremism’, Republican Representative Jim Jordan has claimed, citing agency whistleblowers. Jordan argued that the FBI may be inflating the statistics to satisfy the Biden administration’s crackdown on the supposed threat of homegrown terror.
“From recent protected disclosures, we have learned that FBI officials are pressuring agents to reclassify cases as ‘domestic violent extremism’ even if the cases do not meet the criteria for such a classification,” Jordan wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday.
“Given the narrative pushed by the Biden administration that domestic violent extremism is the ‘greatest threat’ facing our country, the revelation that the FBI may be artificially padding domestic terrorism data is scandalous,” Jordan continued.
In the days after he took office in January 2021, Biden repeatedly talked up the threat of “domestic terrorism” in the US, describing the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill earlier that month as a prime example of this threat. He followed this rhetoric with a domestic terrorism strategy that increased funding to the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, while the former agency issued a memo classifying a broad range of dissidents and criminals – from racial extremists to animal rights activists and all others with “personal grievances and beliefs with political bias” – as domestic violent extremists.
This crackdown was necessary, Wray told Congress last summer, stating in June that the FBI had a “very, very active domestic terrorism investigation program,” and that it had “doubled the amount of domestic terrorism investigations.” Attorney General Merrick Garland cited this apparent doubling of investigations as proof that domestic extremism, particularly that involving white supremacists, was the “most lethal” threat facing the US at the time.
However, whistleblower testimony indicates “that the Biden administration’s narrative may be misleading,” Jordan, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote to Wray.
“One whistleblower explained that because agents are not finding enough DVE [domestic violent extremism] cases, they are encouraged and incentivized to reclassify cases as DVE cases even though there is minimal, circumstantial evidence to support the reclassification,” Jordan continued, adding that the agent in charge of one field office offered awards and promotions to subordinates who could reclassify the most cases as domestic extremism.
“This information … reinforces our concerns regarding the FBI’s politicization under your leadership,” Jordan told Wray. Citing an alleged “purge” of FBI employees with conservative views, the Ohio Republican argued that the FBI seems “more focused on classifying investigations to meet a woke left-wing agenda” than addressing his committee’s concerns.
As of Thursday afternoon, the FBI has not publicly addressed Jordan’s allegations.