House GOP demands FBI explain reports they reclassified cases to fit Biden admin narrative

"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," they wrote

Updated: August 10, 2022 - 8:01pm

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House Republicans have asked a former FBI agent to account for whistleblower claims that she pushed her subordinates to classify incidents as "domestic violent extremism" to accommodate the Biden administration's political narratives.

Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., wrote a letter to former Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division and Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch Jill Sanborn asking her to testify on the matter.

The Republicans cited reports 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."

They then elaborated on whistleblower claims that Sanborn directly pressured agents to reclassify cases as DVEs to raise the overall number of such cases.

"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," they wrote. "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," they continued. "This whistleblower identified you as one official who exerted pressure on agents to reclassify cases as DVE matters."

The Republicans previously wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray in which they highlighted the Biden administration's assertion that DVEs represented a major challenge to the government.

"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," the pair told Wray on July 27.

The demand that Sandborn testify comes as the FBI faces intense scrutiny for alleged political bias on multiple fronts. FBI agents from the Washington Field Office on Monday raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida seeking classified documents the former president may have removed from the White House.

Trump condemned the raid as "prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024."

Polling suggests the public's perception of the event aligns with that of Trump, as nearly half of Americans, 47.9%, believe the former president's political enemies orchestrated the Mar-a-Lago operation, with 76.7% of Republicans and 53.9% of independents expressing that view.

Also hurting the FBI's sinking reputation are previous whistleblower claims that senior agents in the Washington Field Office, the same office that sent personnel to Trump's Florida estate, showed political bias in their handling of investigations. Former Washington Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault, whistleblowers claim, concealed the partisan nature of evidence from his superiors to secure their approval for an investigation against Trump and also worked to falsely discredit evidence against President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

"If these allegations are true and accurate, the Justice Department and FBI are – and have been – substantially corrupted," said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley last week, before the Mar-a-Lago raid. Grassley confirmed to Just the News last week that Thibault had been reassigned to an unspecified post.

Republican leadership has resoundingly condemned the Mar-a-Lago raid, with many vowing similar approaches to those of Jordan and Johnson. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, reacting to the raid, vowed the House would investigate the Department of Justice should Republicans claim victory in the November midterm elections.

"I've seen enough," he posted on Truth Social. "The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar."