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EXCLUSIVE: The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee says new whistleblower disclosures allege FBI officials are pressuring agents to “reclassify” cases as “domestic violent extremism” in order to appease the Biden administration’s push to focus on these cases.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray Wednesday after he says “brave whistleblowers” came forward with information about “disturbing conduct” at the agency.
“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,” writes Jordan. “Given the narrative pushed by the Biden administration that domestic violent extremism is the ‘greatest threat’ facing our country, revelation that the FBI may be artificially padding domestic terrorism data is scandalous.”
During congressional hearings last year, Wray testified that investigations into domestic violence extremism have increased “significantly” and the FBI had “doubled the amount of domestic terrorism investigations,” Jordan notes.
Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray Wednesday after he says “brave whistleblowers” came forward with information about “disturbing conduct” at the FBI. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
The Biden administration unveiled a national strategy for countering domestic terrorism last year, with officials telling Fox News it’s designed to cut across the political spectrum while warning that White supremacy and “militia violent extremists” currently present the “most persistent and lethal threats.”
In a speech following the announcement, Attorney General Merrick Garland asked for a “whole of society approach” to fighting domestic terrorism, while also detailing that the number of open terrorism investigations “has increased significantly.”
“In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violence extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the White race,” Garland said at the time.
Jordan says this narrative by the administration is “misleading” due to new whistleblower accounts.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
“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,” states Jordan.
“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. According to whistleblowers, the FBI uses these metrics to dispense awards and promotions. Every whistleblower has called it an environment of ‘pressure’ within the FBI,” says the letter to Wray.
The congressman says the allegations that the FBI is “padding” its domestic violent extremist data “cheapens” actual instances.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 2, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
He says it also highlights concerns about the politicization of the FBI and accounts that the agency has purged conservative employees.
“It appears instead that the FBI is more focused on classifying investigations to meet a woke left-wing agenda,” concludes Jordan.
The Republican lawmaker is demanding documents related to investigations classified as domestic violent extremism, including communications between the FBI, Department of Justice and the White House on the matter.
The FBI confirmed receipt of the letter to Fox News Digital but did not comment beyond that.
Kelly Laco is a politics editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Kelly.Laco@Fox.com and on Twitter: @kelly_laco.