Raskin requests FBI briefing on extremism in law enforcement

Raskin requests FBI briefing on extremism in law enforcement
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Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinJan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth House progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims MORE (D-Md.) is requesting the FBI brief Congress on efforts by white supremacists and other extremist groups to infiltrate law enforcement agencies across the country.

Raskin, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday requesting a briefing on the matter by March 26.

The request comes as dozens of current and former law enforcement officers, firefighters and military service members face federal charges in relation to the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

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Raskin, who was the lead House impeachment manager for the trial against former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE on charges that he incited the riot, said the FBI “must level with the American public about the steps it is taking to combat white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement agencies.”

The letter comes after ABC News reported on a Feb. 25 threat assessment from the bureau’s San Antonio division. The assessment reportedly concluded that white supremacists and far-right extremists would “very likely seek military and law enforcement affiliation in furtherance of” their goals.

The report also said that extremists entering military and law enforcement careers “almost certainly will gain access to non-public tradecraft and information, enabling them to enhance operational security and develop new tactics in and beyond the FBI San Antonio.”

Raskin wrote that the conclusion lined up with a 2006 threat assessment from the agency, which raised alarms about “historical” interest of white supremacists groups to infiltrate law enforcement, as well as efforts from officials to “volunteer their professional resources to white supremacist causes.”

Raskin said that Wray repeatedly told his subcommittee there was no evidence of a significant threat of white supremacists infiltrating law enforcement agencies.

“I am deeply concerned that the Bureau dismissed this threat last year and instead characterized the threat of white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement as a hypothetical problem that has not materialized,” Raskin wrote. 

The FBI told The Hill that it has received the letter, and had no further comment on it. 

On ABC's report, the agency said "FBI field offices routinely share information with their local law enforcement partners to assist in protecting the communities they serve. These products are intended to be informative in nature, and as such, they contain appropriate caveats to describe the confidence in the sourcing of information and the likelihood of the assessment." 

"Additionally, when written at a local level, these products will note that the perspective offered may be limited to the field office’s area of responsibility," the agency said.

Since the riot, the Pentagon has taken steps to weed out extremism within its ranks, including setting up a force-wide "stand-down" to address extremism.

Updated at 1:16 p.m.