Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said to reporters on Wednesday that the FBI needs a major overhaul and that FBI officials "should go to jail" for interfering in not one, but two presidential elections.
Hawley cited the FBI's involvement with a dossier that was used against Donald Trump when he was a candidate and as president, and which the bureau knew was false at the time.
He went on to note that the bureau suppressed information in 2020 about illegal actions by Hunter Biden and then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, and that they also leaned on social media to suppress the story when it was broken in October 2020 by the New York Post.
“The idea that the FBI who laundered the Steele dossier back in 2016 through the courts, lied to a [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court in order to extend their wiretaps that they never should have gotten in the first place. Then in 2020, deliberately suppressed the Hunter Biden story,” Hawley remarked. “Remember, the FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop for a full year before the story broke. They knew all about it. They had all the emails, knew it was true, and yet put out there that it was Russian disinformation.”
“The FBI deliberately interfered not one, but two separate presidential elections... There have got to be repercussions for that.”pic.twitter.com/g2lcEbbGLV
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) December 21, 2022
Hawley's ire at the FBI--along with that of other Republican lawmakers--has increased in the wake of a trove of data released by Elon Musk at Twitter, including revelations that the FBI paid social media companies to suppress information beneficial to Republicans and harmful to Democrats.
It is now public knowledge that dozens of former FBI agents were hired by Twitter, leading to enmeshment between the bureau and the social media giant. There was even a Slack channel for former FBI Twitter hires with special onboarding information.
“That’s unbelievable stuff,” Hawley told reporters. “The FBI interfered in not one but two presidential elections . . . . there have gotta be repercussions for that, or we’re not gonna have a democracy.”
When Hawley was asked why no one had gone to jail for the actions, he said, “I don’t know, but somebody should go to jail for it.”
And we’re going to have to have, clearly, a conversation about the future of the FBI and what it’s doing in our democracy, because that kind of power, the kind of power that they have is immense. And if they’re going to use it in this way, then I have to say, I think our constitutional order is not secure, and I’m very concerned.
Besides the bureau's actions at Twitter and other social media companies, it has taken other controversial actions in recent months.
It raided Trump's Mar-A-Lago compound in August looking for classified documents it said Trump took from the White House when he left office. While it seems clear that Trump did take some documents, his lawyers were cooperating with requests from the bureau and had already returned many of them at the time of the raid.
Even more recently, the FBI has been involved in arresting pro-life citizens who were doing nothing more than being present at abortion facilities, claiming that they were violating the FACE Act.
They have even raided the home of one such man and plan to charge him with criminal activity that could get him 11 years in jail for simply standing near an abortion facility. The bureau's clear abuse of power is costing Americans their freedom, and must be stopped.