The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the need for non-partisanship in the Department of Justice, the FBI, and police departments around the country. The United States is supposedly a law-and-order nation where all citizens are the same before the law. Yet, there are events happening in various parts of the nation that indicate citizens are not equal before the law.
A recent bit of evidence is a FBI guide about violent extremism that was provided by an FBI whistleblower to Project Veritas, an investigative media organization. According to Madeleine Hubbard at Just the News, the guide “lists the Second Amendment, the “Betsy Ross flag,” and Jan. 6 protester Ashli Babbitt as ‘Domestic Violent Terrorism Symbols’ used by militant extremist groups in the United States.”
Hubbard wrote that other violent extremism symbols listed on the guide also includes the “Punisher skull,’ the Spartan helmet and ‘2A.’ According to the guide, the symbols are “used by Anti-Government or Anti-Authority Violent Extremists.” “The guide says militant violent extremists, also known as MVEs, ‘justify their existence with the Second Amendment, due to the mention of a “well regulated Militia” as well as the right to bear arms.’”
Historical imagery listed on the guide also includes the Gadsden flag, which contains a snake and the phrase “Don’t tread on me,” the Liberty Tree and other general “Revolutionary War Imagery.”
The FBI says MVEs consider people such as Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by a U.S. Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and Vicki Weaver, who was killed during the Ruby Ridge standoff, to be martyrs.
The same document even references Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people during the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing, as an inspiration for MVEs.
The good news is that members of Congress are doing some oversight of the FBI. The leak of the FBI guide came after Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested that “the federal law enforcement agency is ‘substantially corrupted’” IF “recent accusations of political bias in the FBI are true.”
Grassley is not the only person in Congress asking questions and making demands. “Last month, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) demanded FBI Director Chris Wray answer questions about whistleblower reports that the agency is ‘padding its domestic violent extremist data.’”
Hans von Spakovsky and Zack Smith at The Heritage Foundation also wrote about situation with the FBI. They wrote that the “FBI is damaging its credibility with the American people.” They stated that the Grassley revelations are “deeply disturbing” if they are true. Where Americans once trusted the FBI, the trust “has been greatly diminished over the last several years.” The authors stated that the “revelations involve two hot-button topics: the investigation into the president’s son Hunter Biden and the 2020 election."
According to two recent letters Grassley sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI whistleblowers have informed him that the FBI “developed information about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity” in 2020 (when it could have affected the outcome of the election).
After that, FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten prepared an assessment in August 2020 that was used by others at the FBI “to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation” so that the investigation of Hunter Biden would be stopped.
According to Grassley’s July 25 letter, “verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation” by Auten.
Grassley alleges that this appears to have been part of “a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden.” Those same officials, say the whistleblowers, placed that disinformation finding in a restricted file so others within the FBI could not review it or evaluate how the assessment had been made.
Auten is the same FBI intelligence analyst who has been identified as the analyst referred to in a December 2019 report by the Justice Department’s inspector general who “failed to advise” others at the FBI in 2016 “about inconsistencies in the Steel dossier,” the phony report about Trump-Russian collusion created by Fusion GPS….
If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this means that Auten worked to instigate a counterintelligence investigation against then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election, while in 2020 he tried to stop a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden before the November presidential election in which his father was the Democratic nominee running against Trump.
Auten was not the only FBI agent reported by the whistleblower. “Grassley further alleges in his July 25 letter that the assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, Timothy Thibault, tried to quash any investigation of Hunter Biden by ordering the matter closed ‘without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines.’” According to the whistleblower, Thibault “attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
In addition to Auten and Thibault, another federal employee with questionable behavior is Richard Pilger, the head of the Election Crimes Branch of the Public Integrity Section at the Justice Department. Former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams explained that Pilger “blocked numerous election crime investigations” and “was lionized on MSNBC” for his opposition to investigating election fraud.
Grassley even issued a report in 2021 as part of the oversight work done by the Senate Judiciary Committee that had an entire section devoted to Pilger’s apparent misconduct based on testimony from senior Justice Department employees.
According to Grassley’s July 18 letter, Pilger and Thibault were the individuals “deeply involved in the decision to open and pursue” the Justice Department’s investigation of Trump’s campaign, its advisers, and “individuals linked to electors during the 2020 election.”
Grassley’s letter claims that the whistleblowers told him about the foundation for the investigation. The investigation was based in part on “January 2020 CNN news articles which relied on information derived from a liberal non-profit” organization.
The whistleblowers also claim, Grassley says, that the memos reviewed by the attorney general and the FBI director to approve the opening of this investigation “included selective assertions created in large part by Thibault and either removed or watered-down material connected” to left-wing entities.
Furthermore, Grassley says that “multiple whistleblowers” have said Thibault, Pilger, and other FBI personnel employed “double standards” and “did not support FBI agents seeking to follow normal investigative procedures related to investigating election crime allegation during multiple presidential elections.”
The whistleblowers and the letters from Grassley show that there is a two-tier level of justice in America, something that is exactly opposite for what we need. Members of the FBI and the Department of Justice have political bias, and they have infected the “usual process and procedure to open and pursue high-profile and politically charged investigations.”
Spakovsky and Smith suggested that Wray and Garland take “immediate steps to investigate and address these allegations.” If the “allegations are true and accurate,” we have a corrupted Department of Justice and FBI. No one claims that the rank-and-file FBI agents and Justice Department employees are all corrupt because most people assume that there are many who are honest and are honorably serving the nation. However, there appears to be evidence of corruption in both institutions.