Whistleblowers Claim FBI Leaders Pressuring Agents to Pad Domestic Terrorism Data

Whistleblowers Claim FBI Leaders Pressuring Agents to Pad Domestic Terrorism Data
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks at a press conference following a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Mark Tapscott

Agents at the FBI are being pressured by superior officers to massage reports and pad the resulting data on the number of incidents involving domestic violent extremists (DVE), according to information provided by agency whistleblowers to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Jordan is presently the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and is likely to become chairman of the panel if the GOP retakes the majority in the lower chamber of Congress in the November elections.

The Ohio Republican made public late on July 27 his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray explaining that GOP members of the judiciary panel “continue to hear from brave whistleblowers about disturbing conduct at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

“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,” the letter reads (pdf).

“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 noted that the FBI’s definition of DVEs is “an individual based and operating primarily within the United States or its territories without direction or inspiration from a foreign terrorist group or other foreign power who seeks to further political or social goals wholly or in part through unlawful acts of force or violence.”

Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland have repeatedly claimed that violence perpetrated by DVEs, including the Jan. 6, 2021, breach at the U.S. Capitol, represent the greatest domestic security threat facing the United States.

Wray told Congress last year, according to Jordan, that the FBI has established a “very, very active domestic terrorism investigation program” and “doubled the amount of domestic terrorism investigations,” while Garland has said the “number of open FBI domestic terrorism investigations this year has increased significantly.”

Jordan says the whistleblowers are FBI employees concerned about improper pressures being brought to bear against field agents to misrepresent what they are seeing.

“We have received accusations that FBI agents are bolstering the number of cases of DVEs to satisfy their superiors. 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,” Jordan told Wray.

“Another whistleblower—who led at least one high profile domestic terrorism investigation—stated that a field office Counterterrorism Assistant Special Agent in Charge and the FBI’s Director of the Counterterrorism Division have pressured agents to move cases into the DVE category to hit self-created performance metrics.”

The artificial performance metrics are being used to determine which agents receive promotions and bonuses, according to the information the whistleblowers have given to Jordan.

Jordan pointed out to Wray that the allegations from the whistleblowers confirm concerns that the congressman has repeatedly expressed to the FBI chief.

“These whistleblower allegations that the FBI is padding its domestic violent extremist data cheapens actual examples of violent extremism. This information also reinforces our concerns—about which we have written to you several times—regarding the FBI’s politicization under your leadership,” Jordan wrote.

“As we have detailed, multiple whistleblowers have disclosed how the Biden FBI is conducting a ‘purge’ of FBI employees holding conservative views. You have ignored these concerns. It appears instead that the FBI is more focused on classifying investigations to meet a woke left-wing agenda.”

Jordan requested that by Aug. 10, Wray provide copies of “all documents and communications” concerning all “preliminary investigations, and full investigations classified as domestic violent extremism” since January 2020.

In addition, Jordan told Wray he wants copies of all documents and communications between or among employees of the FBI and Department of Justice, with anybody in the Executive Office of the President. Jordan also wants the total number of confidential human sources working for the FBI who have reported incidents alleged to involve DVEs since January 2020.

The Department of Homeland Security, which works closely with the FBI on domestic security issues, published a June 7 advisory that warned “as the United States enters mid-term election season this year, we assess that calls for violence by domestic violent extremists directed at democratic institutions, political candidates, party offices, election events, and election workers will likely increase.”

Mark Tapscott is an award-winning investigative editor and reporter who covers Congress, national politics, and policy for The Epoch Times. Mark was admitted to the National Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and he was named Journalist of the Year by CPAC in 2008. He was a consulting editor on the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Other Than Honorable” in 2014.