By Joseph Lord
House Republicans on Feb. 9 opened their first hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
The committee is under the wing of the important Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Jordan has long looked forward to gaveling in such a hearing.
During the last Congress, Jordan and other Republicans sent “over a hundred letters” to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI which were “either inadequately answered or ignored entirely.”
The panel heard from prominent figures like former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who contended for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, as well as Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
The first hearing comes after Republicans in December unveiled a huge 1,050 page whistleblower report detailing the “weaponization” of the federal government.
“In my time in Congress, I have never seen anything like this,” Jordan said during the hearing.
Jordan emphasized that Republicans’ findings came from the testimony of FBI agents, many of whom were later suspended from the agency.
“It’s not Jim Jordan saying this; it’s not Republicans; [it’s] good, brave FBI agents who are willing to come forward and give us the truth,” Jordan said.
In his opening remarks, Jordan listed off a litany of findings from whistleblower testimony.
For instance, on Nov. 18, 2021, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee were told that the FBI had created a “threat tag” for parents voicing their concerns at school board meetings. In May 2022, another whistleblower revealed that dozens of parents designated with a “threat tag” were being investigated by the agency.
The same whistleblower said that the leadership of the FBI is “rotted at its core.” Following this, that whistleblower had his security clearance revoked and was suspended from the FBI.
In April 2022, another whistleblower told Republicans that FBI agents “were being run out of the bureau” for attending conservative political events while off duty.
Jordan also cited whistleblower testimony previously included in the whistleblower report which claimed that the FBI had manufactured domestic violent extremism events (DVEs) to hit “self-created performance metrics.” Additional testimony in September 2022 revealed that Jan. 6 case files had been altered to make it appear that DVEs were on the rise, as Democrats and President Joe Biden have long claimed. The agent was later suspended.
In September 2022, yet another whistleblower revealed to Republicans that the FBI views the Betsy Ross flag, the original design of the American flag with 13 stars, “as a terrorist symbol.”
Additional testimony found that the FBI accepts personal data on users from Facebook “without the user’s consent.”
Democrats Claim Partisanship
Since the committee was announced, Democrats have sought to label it as a partisan effort.
In a statement, the White House called the panel “a political stunt that weaponizes Congress to carry out the priorities of extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress.”
The White House claimed that it was Republicans who are weaponizing the government.
“Led by Jordan and Congressman Matt Gaetz, this committee plans to weaponize the MAGA agenda against their perceived political enemies, going after civil servants, private citizens, and the rule of law,” the statement said.
In his opening remarks, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) alleged that the hearing was a forum for “conspiracy theories,” and cited the now-defunct Jan. 6 panel, on which Raskin served, as a model of bipartisanship.
Notably, that committee’s creation was also plagued by charges of partisanship.
For the first time in congressional history, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) picks for the panel—Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
Instead, Pelosi chose former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as ranking member and also placed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (D-Ill.) on the panel; both were virulent Trump critics.
During the creation of the Weaponization panel, McCarthy honored Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) picks for the panel.
The ranking member of the panel, Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands, was herself a leader in impeachment efforts against former President Donald Trump.
In her opening remarks, Plaskett likewise claimed that the panel would be a forum for “conspiracy theories,” and accused it of partisan intent.
Meanwhile, Plaskett said she was “proud” of her work to impeach Trump.
For its part, the FBI has repeatedly denied allegations of politicization. The Epoch Times has reached out to the agency for comment.