The House Judiciary Committee is looking into allegations of politicization inside the FBI.
After the former FBI official accused by whistleblowers of ordering agents to classify cases as violent domestic extremism even if they did not meet standards for such canceled a Friday transcribed interview before the panel, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan, threatened to subpoena her.
Republicans on the Committee, led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), sought a meeting with Jill Sanborn, the former executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, to discuss the agency’s priorities and investigations into violent domestic extremism. Friday, December 2, was when I was supposed to have my interview.
Fox News says that Sanborn will not testify this coming Friday willingly. On Monday, Sanborn’s attorney Carter Burwell informed the Committee that his client would like to schedule interviews for early 2023.
After the Republicans win control of the House in January, Jordan will almost certainly become its next chairman. As he explained to Sanborn and her lawyer in a letter, “your choice left us no alternative except to pursue the obligatory means to get your evidence early in the 118th Congress.”
Jordan and the Republicans believe that she reneged on the contract only after her counsel sought instructions from the DOJ and the FBI, and the Democrats on the Committee, despite their belief that she should not need authorization from any agency to appear for a voluntary interview.
Let’s say you’ve had a hard time getting a timely and accurate response to our request because of the Department or the FBI. So, throughout your interview transcription, we will look into the specifics. The Department and the FBI may not be interested in your testimony, but you can still agree to a recorded interview.
Due to your firm decision to refrain from doing so,”
He made a proclamation there.
According to her attorney’s statement before the Committee, Sanborn has “vigorously” denied the FBI’s allegations that she participated in illegal acts while on the job.
There is an urgent need for you to speed up your investigation into the claims of racism and partisanship inside the FBI.”
Jordan promised to keep lobbying for the interview until the year ended or the Republicans won control of the House.
On February 1, 2023, Jordan reached out to Sanborn to set up a meeting.
He said we could go to court to force you to testify.
After finding out that Sanborn was unavailable on Friday, Jordan suggested they “consider” setting up an interview sometime during the upcoming Congress.
The next meeting of Congress will be a better time to consider your demand for a transcript of the interview.” According to an email exchange between the two, Burwell proposed January 30 – February 3 for their 2023 conference call. The current Committee Chairman and the Department of Justice voiced their concerns, prompting this decision.
Due to the difficulty in handling sensitive material, active criminal investigations, and established privileges, Burwell “recognizes she is forced to coordinate any transcribed interview with the FBI and the DOJ,” as stated by Burwell.
Given the lack of accessible agency counsel, Burwell wrote, “The Department of Justice has not yet cleared Ms. Sanborn’s participation in a ‘voluntary’ transcribed interview.” In addition, she claimed that the DOJ had denied Ms. Sanborn’s request for legal assistance during the interview. The current Committee Chairman, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, “does not favor” Sanborn’s scheduled hearing, in his opinion.
Burwell responded to the charges by saying that the magnitude of the national security threat environment, not the number of individual or ongoing investigations, should define the FBI’s strategic concentration and operational resources.
As noted by Burwell, “the allegation that Ms. Sanborn encouraged subordinates to change case numbers goes in the face of her well-known criticism of focusing on that measure,” as described above. “In case you were wondering, Ms. Sanborn had nothing to do with bringing attention to the DVE threat. She never once advised that her staff fabricate data to cover up a possible hazard or mislabel a query as relevant to DVEs.”
Sanborn responded to Burwell’s accusations by saying, “we appreciate and respect the desire for monitoring and have endeavored to cooperate with your request from the first.”
We hope you’ll be available for an interview between January 30 and February 6.”
We are confident that we can negotiate terms for an interview with Ms. Sanborn that are commensurate with her exceptional public service record and in line with the fairness, standards, and processes established by the Committee in its prior investigations to cite Burwell.
The Justice Department and the FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Multiple sources claim that authorities at the FBI pushed agents to classify incidents as “violent domestic extremism.” For this reason, Jordan actively sought to get Sanborn called before the Committee. The same “whistleblowers” who informed Jordan about the FBI’s diversion of resources from their investigation into child trafficking also warned him about the dangers of believing this “political narrative.”
The United States “continues to face a heightened threat environment,” the Department of Homeland Security warned in a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin issued on Wednesday, adding that “heightened political tensions” in the country “could contribute” to individuals being mobilized to violence. A result like this was reached notwithstanding claims by whistleblowers that cases were wrongly put under the category of violent domestic extremism.
The alert emphasizes that there will always be people who need to physically attack government leaders and law enforcement agents. Some domestic radicals agree that the state is abusing its power or shirking its responsibilities.
To investigate allegations of bias and partisanship inside the FBI and DOJ, the Committee has requested the voluntary testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and more than a dozen others.
Following “severe charges of abuse and wrongdoing among the highest leadership,” Jordan and the Republican members of the Committee have been looking into the Justice Department and the FBI for the past 21 months. After the Republicans take over the House in January, there will be a flurry of activity in this area because they have the legal right to issue subpoenas.
Jordan and the Republicans have asked for details on several contentious issues, including the Justice Department’s efforts to monitor parents at school board meetings and label them as domestic terrorists, the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, and specific cases of violent domestic extremism.