If you ask anyone on the left side of the aisle to describe domestic terrorism, you would undoubtedly begin to hear tales of January 6th, 2021, and the red-hatted mob’s “insurrection” at the US Capitol.
You see, “domestic terror” these days is reserved only for the extreme ends of the Republican Party, as decided by the Democrats who now control the legislative and executive branches of our government.
And it looks as though they are preparing to expand these attacks via the Justice Department.
The Justice Department is establishing a specialized unit focused on domestic terrorism, the department’s top national security official told lawmakers Tuesday as he described an “elevated” threat from violent extremists in the United States.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, testifying just days after the nation observed the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, said the number of FBI investigations into suspected domestic violent extremists has more than doubled since the spring of 2020.
“We have seen a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animus, as well as those who ascribe to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies,” Olsen said.
And, as if this weren’t just coded political angst to begin with, the DOJ doesn’t even have any codified way to examine these cases.
But the issue remains politically freighted and divisive, in part because the absence of a federal domestic terrorism statute has created ambiguities as to precisely what sort of violence meets that definition. The U.S. criminal code defines domestic terrorism as violence intended to coerce or intimidate a civilian population and to influence government policy, but there is no standalone domestic terrorism charge, meaning prosecutors have to rely on other statutes.
This could leave the DOJ’s latest expansion to make up the rules as they go – something that the MAGA Movement should be very concerned about.