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Ex-FBI official to testify on Biden admin’s alleged pressure to fabricate ‘extremist’ and ‘White supremacist’ cases

FBI Director Christopher Wray addresses the audience during his formal installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters on September 28, 2017. (FBI/Released)
October 21, 2022

An ex-FBI official is set to testify before Congress about whether she pushed agents to inaccurately reclassify cases after the Biden administration allegedly pressured the FBI to label more cases as “domestic violent extremism” and “white supremacist.”

The interview is part of a Republican investigation into whistleblower claims that the FBI falsely labeled cases that way to support the Biden administration’s narrative of a growing domestic terror threat following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

House judiciary committee Republicans plan to interview ex-FBI counterterrorism head Jill Sanborn on Dec. 2 about her role in the alleged stat-padding, ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) announced in a letter Oct. 18.

A whistleblower told the committee that Sanborn had “exerted pressure” to “reclassify” cases as domestic violent extremism in order “to hit self-created performance metrics,” Jordan announced in August.

Sanborn is set to answer to those claims when she meets with the House judiciary committee the morning of Dec. 2.

Sanborn spent over 20 years at the FBI, primarily in counterterrorism, according to a press release. She rose to executive assistant director of the National Security Branch before taking a job at Roku Inc. as senior director of geopolitical strategy and risk analysis.

Officials said domestic violent extremism cases boomed late last year, with the FBI actively investigating twice its typical caseload. New branches for domestic terrorism were set up in the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security last summer, as reported by The Hill.

White supremacist groups in particular are “the top domestic violent threat we face,” Attorney General Merrick Garland testified before Congress in 2021. 

But in a July letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Jordan said whistleblowers accused FBI agents of “bolstering the number of cases … to satisfy their superiors” and reclassifying cases “even though there is minimal, circumstantial evidence to support the reclassification.”

“Every whistleblower has called it an environment of ‘pressure’ within the FBI,” the letter stated.