FBI Denies Targeting Trump Supporters Ahead of ’24 Vote
The FBI categorically denied on Thursday a report that they were secretly targeting supporters Donald Trump’s former president ahead of 2024 elections.
Newsmax reported Wednesday on Newsweek’s claims that in October 2022, the FBI created a subcategory called AGAAVE-Other, which stands for “anti-government, violent extremism.” This category is used to describe those who are a threat, but don’t fit into anarchist, Sovereign Citizen, or militia groups.
Newsweek reported that, although the title AGAAVE-Other is not used specifically, it refers to violence associated with Trump supporters.
In an email sent to Newsmax, an FBI spokesperson stated that any allegation about the FBI targeting individuals solely because of their political beliefs was categorically untrue. The FBI only investigates people who threaten or commit violence. We do not act based on their political beliefs or First Amendment protected activities.
Newsweek quoted a current FBI official, who asked to remain anonymous. The bureau was trying to prevent a repeat of events on Jan. 6, but it must also protect constitutional rights for Americans to protest and speak out against the government. By focusing on Trump supporters alone, the official claimed that the FBI could provoke the anti-government activity it is trying to prevent.
The FBI stated in a newsweek statement on Wednesday that the threat of domestic violent extremists was persistent, evolving and deadly. The FBI’s mission is to prevent terrorist attacks and detect criminal offenses. We focus on violence and threats of violence.
The FBI has a high priority on the threat of “anti-government or against authority violent extremism” (AGAAVE). This threat includes militia violent extremists and sovereign citizen violent extremes.
These violent extremists have attacked both Republican and Democratic Members of Congress. We are committed in protecting the constitutional rights and safety of all Americans. We will never conduct an investigation solely based on First Amendment protected activities, such as a person’s politics or beliefs.