Today, Subcommittee on Government Operations Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr requesting a classified, Member-level briefing on the “anti-fascist” groups that have spearheaded the riots, destruction of property, and targeted attacks on law enforcement officers in multiple cities across the country.
“Night after night for months on end, we have seen a spectacle of violence and destruction unfolding in our nation’s streets as peaceful protests are repeatedly hijacked by radical extremists from so-called ‘anti-fascist’ groups,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Hice. “These riots and acts of violence are not random or spontaneous occurrences. This level of chaos requires coordination, organization and funding, and it is imperative that we identify those who are orchestrating this domestic terrorism.”
As there are indications that rioters are centrally organized, Subcommittee Ranking Member Hice calls on the Justice Department to provide a briefing detailing the organizational structure of these “anti-fascist” groups, including their primary communication channels and potential funding resources, in order to better understand the threat they pose to federal assets and the general public.
Dear Attorney General Barr:
I write to request a classified, Member-level briefing regarding investigations into, and intelligence of, “anti-fascist” activists and violence caused during the nationwide demonstrations over the past three months. Some of these activists have harmed hundreds of federal officers and damaged federal property.
As you know, rioters have created chaos in Portland, Oregon for over 100 days. This has resulted in the death of one person who was allegedly murdered by an Antifa supporter. Additionally, rioters around the county have damaged post offices and other federal property, including monuments in Lafayette Square Park across from the White House. These rioters have also injured hundreds of federal police officers, including over 60 Secret Service officers protecting the White House.
The incidents of rioting and violence around the country have not been random events. At a Senate subcommittee hearing last month a U.S. attorney you appointed to lead a task force on violent anti-government extremists testified the FBI “has opened more than 300 domestic terrorism investigations.” Additionally, according to recently released emails from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Antifa is not a loosely structured organization, but instead is centrally organized. This raises serious concerns about a concerted effort to harm federal officers and damage federal property.
The astonishing number of FBI investigations and DHS’s conclusion that the rioters are a structured organization raise questions about how these activities are coordinated around the country, how these “anti-fascist” groups are communicating with one another, what, if any, underlying funding apparatus are in place to support these riotous activities, and impacts to federal personnel and property as a result of Antifa rioting.
Please contact Committee staff at (202) 225-5074 to schedule this briefing by September 29, 2020. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this matter.
Subcommittee on Government Operations