House Republicans Allege 'Weaponization' of FBI, DOJ in 1,050-Page Whistleblower Report

House Republicans Allege 'Weaponization' of FBI, DOJ in 1,050-Page Whistleblower Report
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)
Joseph Lord

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 4 released a more than 1,000-page report that details whistleblower disclosures about the alleged politicization of federal law enforcement.

Specifically, the report focuses on the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI under Director Christopher Wray (pdf).

Garland, Republicans said, has been “a willing participant of the Biden Administration’s weaponization of law enforcement.” The FBI too, Republicans assert, “has abused its law-enforcement authorities for apparently political purposes.”

Republicans proceeded to cite a list of incidents and whistleblower reports showing how deeply rooted they say the politicization of federal law enforcement has become.

Domestic Extremism Numbers Inflated

One of the most significant findings of the report showed that the FBI has been encouraging its agents to artificially inflate the number of domestic violent extremism (DVE) incidents.

For years, Democrats—including President Joe Biden—have claimed that DVE is one of the greatest threats to U.S. national security. Specifically, Democrats have blamed conservatives and "white supremacists" for most such incidents.

During the 116th Congress, Democrats even went so far as to propose legislation that would substantially bolster DOJ resources to combat DVE.

"White supremacists and other far-right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States," the bill states.

According to official FBI numbers, this could very well be taken to be the case. However, the Republicans' report indicates that Americans may have some reason to pause before accepting the FBI's numbers on DVE events.

Whistleblowers, Republicans say, "have described how FBI leadership is pressuring line agents to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism even if the matter does not meet the criteria."

That's no mistake, Republicans assert, but instead a targeted effort by federal law enforcement to bolster Democrats' claims about the threat posed by DVE.

"At a time when the Biden Administration maintains that DVE is the 'greatest threat' facing the United States, the FBI appears to be complicit in artificially creating the Administration’s political narrative," the lawmakers wrote.

Whistleblowers have reported an environment that pressures agents to rack up DVE case counts.

"One whistleblower explained that because agents are not finding enough DVE cases, they are encouraged and incentivized to reclassify matters as DVE cases even though there is minimal, circumstantial evidence to support the reclassification," the report says.

Further, lawmakers say that the agency has fudged field office numbers to further increase DVE numbers.

Specifically, Republicans reported that the FBI "is misrepresenting the scale of [DVE]" by categorizing several investigations stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol police as organic cases discovered by local field offices, rather than as a single investigation of a single incident.

"In both ways, the FBI is fueling the Biden Administration’s narrative that domestic violent extremism is the biggest threat to our country," Republicans wrote.

Incidents Manufactured

In at least one case of DVE, the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the FBI played a much more active role. Ahead of the 2020 election, a plot was uncovered to kidnap Whitmer, whose COVID policies sparked intense national debates before the election.

The accused would-be kidnappers were right-wing, and reports had suggested that the plot had developed organically.

But during the trial for the men, it became obvious that this wasn't the case: defense attorneys argued that their clients were pushed into crime by the FBI. According to defense attorneys during the trial, at least 12 FBI informants and agents were involved in the plot.

Despite questions that were raised by defense attorneys, the three men were later convicted.

GOP efforts to get answers about the incident were met with silence, the report noted. Thus, the FBI's motives in assisting the plot remain unclear.

Targeting Conservatives

To bolster their claims of politicization by the FBI, Republicans cited several incidents that involved targeted use of federal resources against conservatives.

For instance, Republicans noted Garland's infamous "school board memo" as a case in point.

In a September 2021 letter to President Joe Biden, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) characterized disruptions at school board meetings across the nation as “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime.”

Specifically, the NSBA was referencing an increasing number of parents across the United States attending school board meetings to voice their opposition to content being taught to their children—including controversial, Marxism-inspired critical race theory, far-left-wing positions on sexuality and gender, and, in some cases, even explicit or pornographic sexual images.

The NSBA proceeded to ask for federal assistance in dealing with these frustrated, outspoken parents—assistance that Garland promptly provided.

Days after the NSBA letter, Garland issued a memo directing federal law enforcement to help address the alleged “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against teachers and school leaders. Garland’s response immediately raised suspicions among some Republican members of Congress, who have sought to keep the issue alive and have responded with promises such as a “parents’ bill of rights” if they are elected to a majority in Congress.

In their report, Republicans called Garland's response "unacceptable."

"As the radical left continued to push a woke agenda on America’s children, parents across the country started to speak out at school board meetings against critical race theory, mask mandates, and controversial curricula," they wrote. "As more parents spoke out, the [NSBA] and the Biden Administration colluded to create a justification, articulated in an October 4 memorandum from Attorney General Garland, to use federal law-enforcement tools to silence parents.

"Committee Republicans have repeatedly called on Attorney General Garland to rescind his ill-conceived memorandum that brought the heavy hand of federal law enforcement down upon America’s parents."

These calls have gone unanswered.

"It is unacceptable for the Biden Administration to use federal domestic terrorism resources to target American parents," the lawmakers said. "The use of these resources chills protected First Amendment activity as parents rightfully fear that their passionate advocacy for their children could result in a visit from federal law enforcement."

Republicans have made clear that they aren't finished with the issue: On Oct. 13, Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, warned Garland to preserve all documents related to the memo in preparation for further GOP investigation.

Also mentioned in the report was the decision by the FBI to mount an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

The raid was allegedly seeking classified documents that Trump had brought with him from the White House.

However, Republicans insisted that such an unprecedented raid shouldn't have been undertaken lightly, and Republicans have pointed to the raid as another instance of political bias by federal law enforcement.

Suppressing Opposition Reports

Additionally, the report notes the FBI's role in suppressing the since-authenticated story about Hunter Biden's laptop, with Republicans saying that the president's son has received "preferential treatment from federal law enforcement."

The contents of the laptop included several photos of Hunter Biden in sexual situations, sometimes with people who appeared to be substantially younger than 18. Others showed the president's son using drugs such as crack cocaine. Still, other sections of the laptop's contents raised questions about the Bidens' business dealings, with some emails and texts suggesting that Hunter Biden may have peddled his father's prestige and influence for financial gain.

The story was discovered by the New York Post, a conservative-leaning media outlet that was founded by Alexander Hamilton. After posting the story to their Twitter page, the New York Post was suspended by the platform pending the removal of the story. Similar suppression followed with other media outlets that reported on the contents of the laptop.

According to the report, some of that may not have been organic behavior by social media platforms.

The Judiciary Republicans noted that, during an August appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook had suppressed the story at the FBI's urging.

At the same time, dozens of national security and federal law enforcement agents signed a letter at the time claiming that the story was Russian disinformation—a claim that has since been shown to be patently untrue.

Around the same time, Republicans unveiled a report showing that the FBI had been aware of the allegations surrounding the younger Biden's business dealings with Chinese and Ukrainian interests for years, but hadn't taken action to look into the potential national security threat.

Republican efforts to get answers for this apparently significant oversight by the DOJ and FBI were met with silence. But GOP findings do provide some clues.

According to the report, a whistleblower allegation "suggests that FBI leadership in Washington may be the reason why the FBI seems to have provided Hunter Biden with special treatment."

Specifically, a whistleblower told investigating Republicans that Assistant Agent in Charge Tim Thibault of the FBI's Washington Field Office ordered a halt to the investigation in July.

According to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican who discovered the role played by Thibault, the agent didn't give a proper reason for closing the investigation under FBI rules of conduct. Thibault's motivation in closing the case remains unclear.

Prologue to Further Investigations

The report is likely a taste of the investigations that Americans can expect if Republicans retake control in at least the House in the midterm elections, as analysts have predicted will be the most likely outcome.

Beyond the FBI and DOJ, Republicans have indicated several topics they may look into once in the majority.

These promised probes range from issues such as allegations of a role by President Joe Biden in his son’s business dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) role in leaving the U.S. Capitol unprepared in terms of security ahead of Jan. 6, 2021. Others have indicated probes into Garland's leadership and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of national security along the southern border.

Because it is unlikely that Republicans will take enough seats in the Senate to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold, and because the White House will still be occupied by a Democrat, investigations by House lawmakers would be one of Republicans’ strongest political tools.

Joseph Lord is a congressional reporter for The Epoch Times.