Matthew G. Olsen led the DOJ’s National Security Division and told the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that the FBI has seen a surge in domestic terrorism reports. He said the number of federal investigations into domestic terror incidents had doubled last year. The new unit’s stated purpose is to expand investigations and prosecutions of domestic reports of terror incidents.
Olsen told senators that federal intelligence agencies report that the US faces dangers from violent domestic extremists. The targeted group comprises US citizens or residents who seek to commit violence in the name of political or social goals.
Virtually all Democrats and some Republicans called for a more aggressive investigation of domestic terrorism after the Capitol building riot on January 6, 2021. Some members of the Biden Administration have suggested that domestic “white supremacist” groups are the single greatest threat to American national security.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have created a special select committee solely to investigate the events of January 6. The committee has issued numerous subpoenas seeking documents and testimony from persons associated with President Donald Trump.
During Olsen’s testimony, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) displayed video recordings taken on January 6 and sharply criticized Republicans for not taking the matter as seriously as he is. He said Republicans are “normalizing” violence to achieve political goals.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that his Democrat colleagues were showing highly selective outrage toward political violence and pointed to the indifference many lawmakers and the corporate media showed to the riots that plagued cities across the nation in the summer of 2020.
Some Republicans have demanded that Olsen explain a memo sent through the FBI last year by Attorney General Merrick Garland about domestic terror investigations. Garland directed the FBI to investigate American parents for claimed threats against school board members and officials. It was learned that the Garland memo was initiated by a letter from the National School Board Association that described parents expressing disfavored views as terrorists. The NSBA eventually apologized for the terminology used in the letter. Garland has nonetheless refused to rescind or amend his FBI memo regarding parents.