The FBI is sidelining investigations into child sexual abuse in order to pursue January 6 probes and is inflating the number of “domestic extremism” cases across the country, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee claimed in a letter Monday, citing whistleblowers.
The committee’s letter was spearheaded by ranking member Jim Jordan, and was addressed to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. It comes on the heels of another committee letter that cited whistleblowers claiming the FBI was “pressuring agents” to label cases as “domestic violent extremism” even when they didn’t meet the criteria for the definition.
One whistleblower cited in the letter was “told that child sexual abuse material investigations were no longer an FBI priority and should be referred to local law enforcement agencies,” due to the bureau’s focus on January 6, the letter claimed.
“Such a posture is not only a dereliction of the FBI’s mission to investigate violations of federal laws, but it is a grave disservice to the victims of child sexual abuse and other crimes that do not advance the FBI leadership’s political agenda,” Jordan said.
The same whistleblower stated that the FBI was using its Washington Field Office (WFO) to redirect January 6 cases to field offices in various states, while still handling the cases from Washington, D.C., in order to create the illusion that domestic extremism is rife across the country.
“The manipulative casefile practice creates false and misleading crime statistics. Instead of hundreds of investigations stemming from a single, black swan incident at the Capitol, FBI and DOJ officials point to significant increases in domestic violent extremism and terrorism around the United states,” the whistleblower said.
A host of Democrats have claimed that “domestic terrorism” is the biggest threat the U.S. is facing.
President Joe Biden said last year that “domestic terrorism from white supremacists is the most lethal terrorist threat in the homeland” and has echoed that sentiment in more recent speeches. Attorney General Merrick Garland has also highlighted the alleged threat, saying, “the number of open FBI domestic terrorism investigations this year has increased significantly.”
Jordan requested the FBI provide the committee with the WFO’s documents relating to January 6, including all orders issued by the office to other field offices to open investigations, and the number of FBI agents involved in January 6 cases.
“Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2022. We remind you that whistleblower disclosures to Congress are protected by law and that we will not tolerate any effort to retaliate against whistleblowers for their disclosures,” the letter concluded.