FBI labeled veteran-led disaster organization a ‘terror’ group over government criticism, whistleblower says
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2022
The FBI was accused of falsely designating a veteran-led emergency prevention organization and its founder as facilitators of domestic terror, according to a whistleblower complaint made public via a letter from the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
In the letter, ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the FBI associated American Contingency with domestic terrorism despite its own investigation proving otherwise in an effort to “advance a misleading political agenda.”
“American Contingency is a company founded by former U.S. servicemember Mike Glover, who has publicly rejected the FBI’s accusations that he is a terrorist and has described American Contingency’s charitable work on behalf of communities devastated by natural disasters,” Jordan said in the letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
According to the letter, the FBI maintained a terror designation on American Contingency despite thoroughly investigating the organization and its founder.
The FBI investigated Glover’s “military records, his veteran’s disability rating, and even his monthly disability benefit” before ultimately determining he was not a perpetrator or instigator of domestic terror. Jordan said these details have been corroborated by an FBI whistleblower.
“We have no comment on any specific groups or individuals. However, the FBI does not and cannot designate domestic terrorist organizations. The FBI can never open an investigation based solely on protected First Amendment activity,” the bureau responded.
“We cannot and do not investigate ideology. We focus on individuals who commit or intend to commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security. The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. One does not come at the expense of the other.”
Jordan said, “The FBI’s recent characterization of American Contingency as a DVE [domestic violent extremism] organization is striking in light of new whistleblower disclosures that show that the FBI had concluded as recently as 2020 that the group was not a threat.”
Following this investigation, the FBI determined Aug. 26, 2020, that Glover “is a decorated veteran of the United States” whose military record and frequent social media posts reflect his “patriotism for the United States.”
“Glover desires to assist Americans in preparing themselves for catastrophic events and not to overthrow the United States Government,” the in-line FBI administrative note said. “A background investigation and review of Glover’s social media failed to support the allegation that Glover is a threat to the United States or its citizens.”
While arguing that the designation was initially unjustified, Jordan highlighted that the FBI kept its terror designation “even after the FBI determined in 2020 that American Contingency was not a threat.”
Jordan then inquired further into the FBI’s “Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide” on “Militia Violent Extremists” (MVEs) — which was publicly shared via Project Veritas — including questions about how and why the FBI pursues people or organizations such as Glover and American Contingency.
The FBI document flags symbols like “2A,” an abbreviation for the Right to Bear Arms under the Second Amendment, and “commonly referenced historical imagery or quotes,” like the “Betsy Ross Flag” and the yellow “Gadsden Flag” that states “Don’t Tread On Me” as symbols of “terrorists,” Jordan said.
Concluding the letter, the top Republican requested from Wray “all documents and communications referring or relating to the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide on Militia Violent Extremism, for the period of January 1, 2020, to the present.”
He also asked for “a full and complete explanation as to why the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Strategic Unit did not include symbols, images, phrases, events, and individuals about left-wing violent extremism of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide.” Jordan urged Wray to “provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 28, 2022.”
The FBI had told reporters last month, “The threat posed by domestic violence extremists is persistent, evolving and deadly. The FBI’s authority to investigate a case as domestic terrorism requires the existence of a potential criminal federal violation, the unlawful use or threat of force or violence and ideological motivation of any type. We do not investigate ideology.
“The FBI investigates individuals who commit or intend to commit violence and other criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security. We are committed to upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment activity.”