House Judiciary Committee plans hearing on white nationalism

House Judiciary Committee plans hearing on white nationalism
© Greg Nash

The House Judiciary Committee is planning to hold a hearing on the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. in the wake of last week’s mosque shootings in New Zealand, a source confirmed to The Hill.

The source added that a date for the hearing had not yet been set, and that a similar hearing on the subject had been floated to the Department of Justice in November. The Daily Beast was first to report the committee's plans.

The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerKlobuchar on impeachment: 'I'm the jury' Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.), plans to summon FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials for questioning on agency efforts to address white nationalism, with a goal date of early April, according to the Daily Beast.

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The FBI is also reportedly increasing collaboration with faith leaders on addressing domestic terror threats to houses of worship, such as the New Zealand attacks and the 2018 mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.

The agency is also partnering with local law enforcement to develop methods of profiling people potentially motivated to carry out such attacks, according to the Daily Beast.

A gunman who espoused white nationalist views in his published "manifesto" killed 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, sparking a renewed debate about radicalization on the far-right.

The shooting led to calls for President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE, who was referenced in the manifesto and who has been criticized for anti-Muslim rhetoric, to directly condemn white nationalism.

Trump on Friday expressed skepticism about the rise of far-right extremists, saying such incidents as the New Zealand shootings involved “a small group of people.”

The alleged gunman in his manifesto praised Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown dismissed Sunday “the ramblings of somebody who’s rotten to the core and clearly is an extremist of the worst kind,” telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that he didn’t give the manifesto “any credibility.”

In 2009, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was pressured to apologize after the department issued a warning about the increased threat of "right-wing extremism," leading to what critics have called an overcorrection to how federal agencies tackle the issue.

“When 9/11 happened, the government made an effort to connect the dots beforehand, but failed because of a lack of communication among agencies,” former DHS analyst Daryl Johnson, the report’s author, wrote in The Washington Post in 2017.

“In this case, the government isn’t even trying — and worse, it appears to be enabling the threat to flourish.”

Olivia Beavers contributed.