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Tags: democrats | weaponization | fbi | trump

Dems Push Back: Hearing a Political Play for Trump

By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2023 11:40 AM EDT

Democrat members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government argued during the group's hearing Thursday about several matters, with the party's ranking member on the committee insisting the hearing was staged not to expose the FBI's actions, but to support former President Donald Trump's 2024 campaign.

Democrats also questioned the procedure for the hearing, whether the witnesses from the FBI could be truly considered whistleblowers, and questioned the patriotism of at least one witness over his questions concerning the Jan. 6, 2021 incidents at the U.S. Capitol. 

Ranking member Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, said in opening statements that "less than two months ago, former President Trump, facing mounting investigations into his many alleged crimes, declared that 'Republicans in Congress should defund the DOJ and the FBI until they can come to their senses.'

"We all know that when Trump says, 'jump,' Republicans in the House say, 'how high?' so here we are."

Plaskett also accused the committee's Republicans of representing Trump and "acting as his defense attorney, his campaign operative, and everything in between," and accused the committee of being a "clearinghouse for testing conspiracy theories for Donald Trump to use in his 2024 presidential campaign."

"Today is our fourth hearing in this select committee," Plaskett said. "We've heard my Republican colleagues in their witnesses downplay the danger of extremism in America, suggesting that the 2020 election was stolen, and claimed the January 6 was anything other than an attempted insurrection."

Plaskett also accused the Republicans on the committee of not wanting members to work together. 

"They give us the bare minimum notice for hearings," she said. "We learned who the hearing witnesses are from British tabloids. That's not normal in the House of Representatives. Then we wonder, are Republicans scared of giving us the information so that we can do our own due diligence on these conspiracy theories, these ideas that they want to put forward?"

Plaskett also said the hearing is "evidence" that "MAGA Republicans are a threat to the rule of law in America." She also accused her colleagues on the far right of being on a mission to "ultimately dismantle the FBI."

"My colleagues have brought in these former agents, men who lost their security clearances because they were a threat to our national security who, out of malice or ignorance or both, have put partisan agenda above the oath they swore to serve this country and protect its national security," Plaskett said.  

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., insisted that the witnesses are not truly designated whistleblowers and accused the Republicans of withholding testimony information. 

"They've been determined by the [FBI] not to be whistleblowers," she said, leading Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to retort that she had not listened to another witness, Tristan Leavitt, president of Empower Oversight and a former member of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, testify about what constitutes a whistleblower.

"Do you not read the law?" Jordan said. "The law decides that they are whistleblowers."

Another committee member, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., grilled one of the whistleblower witnesses, FBI Staff Operations Specialist Marcus Allen, whose security clearance was first suspended on Jan. 10, 2022, over what it called his "conspiratorial views" on the events of Jan. 6. 

"Do you believe it's important for federal agents to have allegiance to the United States? Yes or no?" Sanchez asked Allen. "Do you believe your obligation as a federal agent should supersede your First Amendment rights? … Do you believe that you have an obligation to serve as a federal agent regardless of what your personal political beliefs are? … Do you believe FBI agents should be permitted to express support for individuals who stormed the capital on January 6?"

"We just heard astonishingly heard a Democrat on this committee question your allegiance to the United States," Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told Allen, who told the committee that while in the U.S. military, he served two years in Iraq and that he has had a security clearance for 20 years and has never had it called into question. 

Allen also said that while in the U.S. Navy, he received the Navy Commendation Medal and a Navy Achievement Medal. 

Allen added that he believes the FBI retaliated against him for sharing an email that questioned the truthfulness of Director Christopher Wray, who indicated there were no FBI assets at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as part of the rioting that took place.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Democrat members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government said Thursday's hearing was staged not to expose the FBI's actions, but in support of former President Donald Trump's 2024 campaign.
democrats, weaponization, fbi, trump
Thursday, 18 May 2023 11:40 AM
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