AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
As House Republicans ramp up their promised investigations after taking power in January, one emerging theme across a range of probes is potential wrongdoing and politically motivated actions by career bureaucrats at the FBI. From Big Tech censorship to the targeting of religious Americans, Republicans are finally getting answers to questions that have been mounting for more than two years.
The new House panel on the weaponization of the federal government, which held its first hearing on February 9, has already delivered a number of shocking details about left-wing bias in FBI investigations. During that hearing, former FBI Special Agent Nicole Parker testified that the bureau is plagued by “low morale” and has become “politically weaponized.” The hearing further revealed that the agency had lowered eligibility requirements in hiring new agents and aggressively focused on social justice issues following the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
The hearing also took aim at the FBI’s collusion with Big Tech to censor conservative voices on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, testified that, as revelations from the so-called “Twitter Files” show, the FBI is using social media sites to silence anyone critical of Democrats or left-wing media narratives.
In an op-ed for the New York Post following his testimony, Turley pointed to the alarming similarities between the modern FBI-Big Tech censorship and the 1950s “Red Scare,” when the bureau was used to target Americans by accusing them of being communists. “Where the Hoover FBI would call dissenters ‘Communist sympathizers,’ the Wray FBI labels them ‘conspiracy theorists,’” Turley wrote. “The Democratic Party was once the greatest defender of free speech, the greatest critic of corporate power, and the greatest skeptic of the FBI. It is now opposing the investigation into the FBI’s involvement in a massive corporate-run censorship system.”
Opposition from Democrats to Republicans’ inquiries into the politicization of the FBI is increasingly looking to be at least somewhat a matter of self-preservation. Some of the most damning revelations about censorship operations between the FBI and Big Tech relate to the infamous Russia collusion hoax and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. In both cases, as House Republicans’ investigations have further confirmed, FBI bureaucrats used shoddy intelligence to push a narrative they believed would be damaging to Donald Trump’s chances in the presidential election.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has also issued a number of subpoenas of top FBI officials and documents relating to scandals from the past two years. Earlier this month, for instance, Jordan’s office gave FBI Director Christopher Wray a March 1 deadline to turn over documents related to the bureau’s labeling of parents who spoke out at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”
In addition to exposing political bias within the FBI, the Republican investigations have shone a spotlight on the revolving door between Big Tech companies and the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. As revelations like the Twitter Files have revealed, top officials at the FBI often go on to occupy high-level posts at Twitter and other Big Tech companies, where they work closely with their former FBI colleagues on censorship operations. In the case of the Hunter Biden laptop story, for instance, James Baker, who had previously served as FBI general counsel during the bureau’s ill-fated investigation into potential ties between the Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, went on to serve as Twitter’s deputy general counsel after 2018. At Twitter, Baker was responsible for suppressing the laptop scandal ahead of the 2020 election – again based on flimsy evidence that the story was “Russian disinformation.”
Despite increased scrutiny, it does not yet appear that the FBI is doing anything to counter the perception that the agency has been ideologically captured by the left. Just one day after the first hearing of the weaponization of the federal government panel, a leaked internal FBI memo showed that the bureau’s field office in Richmond, Virginia was labeling “traditionalist Catholics” as potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”
Although the Department of Justice quickly denounced the document once it became public, there are still pressing questions that Attorney General Merrick Garland and the White House have refused to address about whether the memo was a one-off or part of a broader pattern of anti-Christian hostility within the FBI. However, for the first time in two years, Republicans finally have the power to compel top officials to give the American people the answers they deserve.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.