Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday spotlighted another way the Justice Department, and more specifically the FBI, is little more than the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party.
The Fort Walton Beach Republican told Fox News that some FBI agents who took a knee for the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd were likely rewarded with “plum” career-advancement opportunities.
According to Fox, Gaetz wrote a letter on Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray inquiring about commendations, promotions, and higher-profile assignments awarded to FBI agents who knelt before BLM protesters in June 2020 in Washington, D.C.
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“Many FBI personnel we were trusting to be on the front lines were photographed kneeling in surrender to people who at times were violent,” Gaetz told Fox.
In the letter, he noted that “at least six alleged FBI agents were filmed kneeling in supplication,” including one who expressed her support for “these seditious riots that caused so much destruction,” yet now leads the criminal investigative division of the D.C. field office.
“People were rewarded for this at [the] FBI with plum personnel opportunities and promotions and advancements,” Gaetz maintained in the interview. “To climb the ladder in federal employment, you shouldn’t have to shimmy up the woke totem pole.”
Gaetz reportedly asked Wray about how personnel who engaged in “acts of supplication” were then handed “plum professional opportunities.”
“The purpose of law enforcement is to keep people safe, not to engage in politics,” Gaetz continued. “And for the last several years, we’ve seen the FBI more interested in virtue signaling and political activity than in just the nuts and bolts in evaluating the facts and the law.”
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He called the FBI’s behavior “demoralizing.”
The Biden administration “seeks to reward those who participate in these virtue signals rather than doing their job,” he added.
Gaetz said he learned about the rewards from a whistleblower.
The New York Post reported last October, in an opinion column by James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, that the FBI Agents Association rewarded the kneelers with gift cards — something that was not given to other agents who hunted down some of the most dangerous felons in America.
Note: Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been accused of fraud on several occasions. In 2022, a lawsuit was filed against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF) by BLM Grassroots, a group of local chapters and activists. The lawsuit alleges that Shalomyah Bowers, a leader of the GNF, stole more than $10 million in donations from the organization for personal use. Bowers has denied the allegations.
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In addition to the lawsuit, BLM has also been criticized for its spending habits. In 2021, the GNF spent more than $30 million on consulting fees, travel expenses, and other costs. Some critics have argued that this spending was excessive and that the money could have been better used to support the organization’s mission.
BLM has also been accused of misusing its tax-exempt status. In 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) opened an investigation into the GNF’s finances. The IRS is looking into whether the GNF used its tax-exempt status to engage in political activity.
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