Posted tagged ‘FBI’

‘Big fish’ Debbie Wasserman Schultz watches as ‘small fish’ start to cut deals

September 7, 2017

‘Big fish’ Debbie Wasserman Schultz watches as ‘small fish’ start to cut deals, American ThinkerThomas Lifson, September 7, 2017

It’s starting to look as though Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi are making plea deals and incriminating people above them in the food chain.  Both of them were I.T. staffers for Democrats in the House of Representatives, earning substantial multiples of customary wages, raising intense suspicions of blackmail.

Ms. Alvi reportedly has already made a deal and will be returning to the U.S. from her native Pakistan, where she earlier fled.  Her husband was arrested at Dulles Airport, attempting to do the same.  Todd Shepherd reports in the Examiner:

A document filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicates that federal prosecutors have struck a deal with Alvi that would allow her to return to the U.S., but would also require her to surrender her passport and afterwards not book any international travel. The deal only surrounds how Alvi will turn herself in, and is structured so that she can avoid being arrested in front of her children when she returns to the U.S., “during the last week of September 2017.”

Alvi, and Awan in particular, are the focus of investigations by the FBI and Capitol Police regarding irregularities for purchases of some computers and other equipment which was later discovered to be missing. The pair, and their associates, could have had access to sensitive government information over the years.

We don’t know if Awan has made a deal yet, but his wife would not be returning if that were unlikely.  In fact, thanks to the work of Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller, we have to consider the possibility that Awan has been playing a double- or triple-game since last April.

A laptop that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has frantically fought to keep prosecutors from examining may have been planted for police to find by her since-indicted staffer, Imran Awan, along with a letter to the U.S. Attorney.

U.S. Capitol Police found the laptop after midnight April 6, 2017, in a tiny room that formerly served as a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building, according to a Capitol Police report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. Alongside the laptop were a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. attorney. Police also found notes in a composition notebook marked “attorney-client privilege.”

This happened four months after Awan had been banned from the House I.T. network, so he had realized he was in trouble for quite some time, even if DWS kept paying him his salary and he was able to get access to the network via her office.  It was enough time for him to plot and plan.  And it does look as if the material was intended to be discovered, not somehow accidentally left behind:

The laptop was found on the second floor of the Rayburn building – a place Awan would have had no reason to go because Wasserman Schultz’s office is in the Longworth building and the other members who employed him had fired him. (snip)

Leaving important items there accidentally would seem extremely unlikely, according to Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, former prosecutor, and member of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Imran Awan is a calculating person who made great efforts to cover his tracks, both electronically and physically,” Gohmert told TheDCNF. “Placing that laptop with his personal documents, which may well incriminate him, those he worked for, or both, in the dead of night in a House office building, was a deliberate act by a cunning suspect, and it needs to be investigated.”

If Awan thought he was better off with his crimes documented, that suggests he feared something worse than prison, that this was a matter of life insurance.

There are signs that DWS is panicking.  Wasserman Schultz first claimed that the laptop was hers and notoriously harangued the Capitol Police to return it to her on that basis.

Now she is claiming that it was Awan’s and that she had never seen it.  Yet:

Wasserman Schultz has hired an outside counsel, William Pittard, to argue that the laptop not be examined. Pittard argued that the speech and debate clause – which only protects a member’s information directly related to legislative duties – should prevent prosecutors from examining the laptop’s contents, TheDCNF has learned. Pittard did not respond to requests for comment.

Pittard, a partner with KaiserDillon, is the former acting general counsel of the House. Hiring an outside counsel to argue the speech and debate clause on behalf of Wasserman Schultz is highly unusual, because the general counsel of the House offers opinions on speech and debate issues for free.

That can’t be cheap. There must be material on that laptop that that is incriminating.  Very incriminating.  Perhaps of DWS, perhaps of some of the other House Democrats who hired the Awan gang.

Debbie is already distancing herself from Awan:

House Intel Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ Over Trump Dossier

September 6, 2017

House Intel Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ Over Trump Dossier, PJ MediaDebra Heine, September 6, 2017

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for documents relating to the Trump “dodgy dossier,” the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday evening. The committee is seeking information regarding the FBI’s relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele and its possible role in funding what started out as an opposition research project by shady lefty research firm Fusion GPS.

While it has been widely reported that “a wealthy GOP donor” originally funded the anti-Trump dossier, the managers of the Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich campaigns have all told the Examiner’s Byron York that they knew nothing about a GOP-funded oppo-research project on Trump. Meanwhile, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson has refused to answer the question about who bankrolled the dossier.

The House Intel Committee is one of several congressional committees looking into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Additionally, Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leading a separate investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The subpoenas to the FBI and DOJ are a sign of the GOP’s frustration with the lack of cooperation they are getting from even the Trump Justice Department.

“I’m sure you’re noting with the same irony I’m noting the difficulty that a Republican Congress is having getting information from a Department of Justice run by Jeff Sessions,” Gowdy told York.

The committee issued the subpoenas — one to the FBI, an identical one to the Justice Department — on August 24, giving both until last Friday, September 1, to turn over the information.

Neither FBI nor Justice turned over the documents, and now the committee has given them an extension until September 14 to comply.

Illustrating the seriousness with which investigators view the situation, late Tuesday the committee issued two more subpoenas, specifically to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directing them to appear before the committee to explain why they have not provided the subpoenaed information.

The subpoenas are the result of a months-long process of committee investigators requesting information from the FBI and Justice Department. Beginning in May, the committee sent multiple letters to the FBI and Justice requesting information concerning the Trump-Russia affair.

“We got nothing,” said committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is taking a leading role in the Russia investigation. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Gowdy said the FBI has said it needed more time to comply, and also that complying might interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Whatever the reason, the documents haven’t been produced.

“A subpoena is a tool of last resort in Congress,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said.

Like investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee, who are also pursuing information about the dossier, the House committee wants to know the origin of the FBI’s involvement in the creation of the document. They are particularly interested to know whether the FBI or Justice Department ever presented information from the dossier — unverified, possibly from paid informants — to a court as a basis for obtaining a surveillance warrant in the Russia investigation.

“I want to know the extent to which it was relied upon, if at all, by any of our intelligence agencies or federal law enforcement agencies,” Gowdy said, “and to the extent it was relied upon, how did they vet, or either corroborate or contradict, the information in it?”

The House intelligence panel, like the Senate Judiciary Committee, has had so-called “de-confliction” discussions with Mueller’s office and believes the special counsel does not object to the House seeking information on the dossier.

The committee believes that seeking information on the origin of the FBI’s role in the dossier, and the bureau’s relationship with dossier compiler Steele, a former British spy, will lead to a better understanding of the FBI’s entire counter-intelligence probe on the question of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

“Several of our lines of questions centered on the dossier, or, if you don’t like the word ‘dossier,’ just insert ‘the origin of the Russia investigation,'” said Gowdy.

The former prosecutor seems determined to get to the bottom of the Trump dossier mystery.

“Congress created the FBI, we created the Department of Justice, we’re the ones who passed the laws that set the boundaries of their jurisdiction, and and we’re the ones that fund them,” he said. “It is not illegitimate for us to ask what prompted this investigation, and it is certainly not illegitimate for us to test and probe the reliability of that underlying information, particularly if, in theory, there are either charging decisions and/or court filings that relied upon that information.”

According to CNN, the reason the Justice Department has been been refusing compliance with the subpoenas is because they don’t want to interfere with the Mueller investigation.

 

OPINION | Byron York: FBI fights public release of Trump dossier info

September 1, 2017

OPINION | Byron York: FBI fights public release of Trump dossier info, Washington ExaminerByron York, August 31, 2017

Grassley and the Judiciary Committee seem determined to uncover the full story of the dossier. To do so, they’ll have to use all the powers of Congress, because, when it comes to ordinary citizens, the Justice Department believes they have no right to know.

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Senate investigators have had problems getting the FBI to reveal information about the Trump dossier. They’re not the only ones. Outside groups filing Freedom of Information Act requests are running up against a stone wall when it comes to the dossier.

On March 8, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for documents regarding the bureau’s contacts with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who dug for dirt in Russia on candidate Donald Trump in the months before the 2016 presidential election. Steele’s effort was commissioned by the oppo research firm Fusion GPS, which at the time was being paid by still-unidentified Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton. Just weeks before the election, the FBI reportedly agreed to support Steele’s oppo project — an extraordinary action in the midst of a campaign which Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said raised “questions about the FBI’s independence from politics.”

So Judicial Watch asked the Justice Department for:

Any and all records of communications between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer and the owner of the private firm Orbis Business Intelligence.

Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the proposed, planned, or actual payment of any funds to Mr. Steele and/or Orbis Business Intelligence.

Any and all records produced in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee or representative of Orbis Business Intelligence.

Any and all records produced in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee or representative of Orbis Business Intelligence.

The idea was that the records would shed light on the basic questions regarding the dossier. Just what did the FBI do? Why? And — this is very important to Grassley — did the FBI ever use the “salacious and unverified” (the words of former FBI Director James Comey) information in the dossier as a basis for applying for warrants to put Americans under surveillance?

The Justice Department’s response to Judicial Watch was simple: No. And not just no: The Department would not even confirm or deny whether any such documents or communications even existed.

So on May 16, Judicial Watch filed suit, seeking to force release of the information. In response, the department told Judicial Watch to forget about it. “Plaintiff’s claims are moot,” Justice lawyers wrote, “because Defendant has notified Plaintiff of its decision to neither confirm nor deny the existence of any responsive records, and the reasons for that decision.”

The reasons the department referred to were contained in nearly identical letters sent to Judicial Watch on March 29 and May 16. “The nature of your request implicates records the FBI may or may not compile pursuant to its national security and foreign intelligence functions,” a Justice Department FOIA official wrote. “Accordingly the FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of any records about your subject as the mere acknowledgment of such records existence or nonexistence would in and of itself trigger harm to national security interests.” The letter cited legal exemptions to FOIA based on national security.

“Moreover, as a federal law enforcement agency,” the letter continued, “a confirmation by the FBI that it has or does not have responsive records would be tantamount to acknowledging the existence or nonexistence of a pending investigation it has not previously acknowledged.”

The problem, of course, is that the FBI has already acknowledged the existence of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump-Russia affair. Comey himself did it in Hill testimony on March 20, noting that it is not the Justice Department’s usual practice to confirm such things, but the Trump-Russia matter was of such great public importance that Comey decided to go ahead:

As you know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations, especially those investigations that involve classified matters, but in unusual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so as Justice Department policies recognize. This is one of those circumstances.

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

As for the dossier itself, in public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey specifically discussed briefing President-elect Trump on its contents in January.

And of course, the dossier, in all its “salacious and unverified” glory, was published in full by Buzzfeed.

Finally, the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller to serve as the special counsel in the case. The department announced the appointment publicly and released the document outlining Mueller’s responsibilities.

These were not low-key, hush-hush actions. But apparently no one told the Justice Department’s FOIA bureaucracy that the department and the FBI had, in a very big way, confirmed the existence of the Trump-Russia investigation.

In addition, there are indications that Mueller himself does not object to the public release of information regarding the dossier. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held so-called “deconfliction” meetings with Mueller’s office in which officials discussed whether this or that aspect of the committee’s investigation might interfere with Mueller’s probe. (Such discussions are mostly a matter of courtesy, since the Senate can ultimately do what it wants.) It appears Mueller’s office did not object to the Senate interviewing Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson, with the full knowledge that all or part of that interview might be publicly released. While it’s not clear what Simpson told the committee — the public should hope it is released in full — given the committee chairman’s concerns, it’s guaranteed that Simpson was asked about Steele’s interactions with the FBI.

But when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI is resisting the release of even the most basic information. “They’re fighting us on everything,” Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton told me recently. “They’re fighting us tooth and nail.”

Grassley and the Judiciary Committee seem determined to uncover the full story of the dossier. To do so, they’ll have to use all the powers of Congress, because, when it comes to ordinary citizens, the Justice Department believes they have no right to know.

Was it a Hack or a Leak? (4)

September 1, 2017

Was it a Hack or a Leak? (4), Power LineScott Johnson, September 1, 2017

(Didn’t AG Sessions recuse himself? — DM)

“This entire business with Comey setting in motion the steps to get a special counsel named has not been sufficiently investigated. And this story makes it clear that the FBI was lackluster when it came to investigating the DNC. What is Attorney General Sessions doing?”

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We have followed the argument presented by Patrick Lawrence in the Nation asserting that the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email was rather an inside job. Lawrence explored the findings of the analysis supporting the thesis Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in July 2016, but rather suffered an insider leak. Lawrence’s article is here; the most recent report with the analysis summarized by Lawrence is here. The analysis has been promoted by dissident former intelligence officials gathered under the umbrella of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Lawrence’s long article in the Nation called for a response of some kind by proponents of the Russia hacking conspiracy theory, but it has been greeted mostly by silence. I am not aware of any analysis directly disputing VIPS.

Since the publication of Lawrence’s long article in the NationThe VIPS analysis has been taken up by Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg View and by Danielle Ryan at Salon. The DNC itself responded to Lawrence’s article:

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.

Ryan rightly commented that the statement “is so lackluster it is almost laughable[.]” Students of logical fallacy may recognize both the argument from authority and the ad hominem in the three-sentence DNC statement. That is pathetic.

Philadelphia attorney George Parry takes up the VIPS analysis in his Philly.com column “Will special counsel Mueller examine the DNC server, source of the great Russiagate caper?” Parry prefaces his account of the VIPS analysis with a useful reminder of the origin story:

Much to the embarrassment of Hillary Clinton, the released [DNC email] files showed that the DNC had secretly collaborated with her campaign to promote her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination over that of Bernie Sanders. Clearly, the Clinton campaign needed to lessen the political damage. Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s public relations chief, said in a Washington Post essay in March that she worked assiduously during the Democratic nominating convention to “get the press to focus on … the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary.”

Thus was laid the cornerstone of the Trump-Russia-collusion conspiracy theory.

Since then, the mainstream media have created a climate of hysteria in which this unsubstantiated theory has been conjured into accepted truth. This has resulted in investigations by Congress and a special counsel into President Trump, his family, and his campaign staff for supposed collusion with the Russians.

But in their frenzied coverage, the media have downplayed the very odd behavior of the DNC, the putative target of the alleged hack. For, when the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI learned of the hacking claim, they asked to examine the server. The DNC refused. Without explanation, it continues to deny law enforcement access to its server.

Why would the purported victim of a crime refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in solving that crime? Is it hiding something? Is it afraid the server’s contents will discredit the Russia-hacking story?

Parry also provides a good summary of the VIPS analysis. A friend comments and concludes with one more good question: “This entire business with Comey setting in motion the steps to get a special counsel named has not been sufficiently investigated. And this story makes it clear that the FBI was lackluster when it came to investigating the DNC. What is Attorney General Sessions doing?”

 

Judge Orders FBI to Release Unredacted Subpoenas From Clinton Investigation

September 1, 2017

Judge Orders FBI to Release Unredacted Subpoenas From Clinton Investigation, Washington Free Beacon, September 1, 2017

Getty Images

A federal judge has ordered the FBI to release new details regarding the subpoenas the bureau issued during the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

On Thursday, James Boasberg, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of watchdog groups Cause of Action and Judicial Watch, which are suing the government for failing to properly preserve the former secretary of state and failed presidential candidate’s emails.

“The 2016 presidential election may have come and gone, but Plaintiffs Judicial Watch and Cause of Action Institute’s quest for Hillary Clinton’s emails lives on,” Boasberg wrote in the order. “As most readers will remember, Clinton used private email accounts during her tenure as Secretary of State, embroiling the government in myriad Freedom of Information Act suits.”

“In this case, however, Plaintiffs have taken a different tack, alleging a violation of the Federal Records Act,” he wrote. “That is, they claim Defendants State Department and the National Archives and Records Administration failed to maintain records of Clinton’s emails and must now seek the Department of Justice’s Case assistance in their recovery.”

The groups sued the State Department and the National Archives for the unredacted grand jury subpoenas issued in the Clinton email investigation last month.

The existence of the subpoenas was revealed earlier this year, in a redacted declaration filed to the court in secret by E.W. Priestap, the assistant director for the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

Boasberg has now ordered the FBI to reveal the full, unredacted Priestap declaration, which will reveal more information on the government’s efforts to obtain emails stored on Clinton’s BlackBerry email accounts.

Cause of Action Institute president and CEO John J. Vecchione praised the court’s opinion: “The government attempted to end a case with evidence no one could review. This order makes public details submitted by the government about the FBI’s efforts to recover then-Secretary Clinton’s unlawfully removed emails.”

“Americans deserve to know the full scope of that investigation, and we, as Plaintiffs, should have an opportunity to contest the relevance of the government’s facts,” Vecchione said.

Cause of Action and Judicial Watch are still seeking thousands of Clinton’s emails, but the order Thursday is a first step in revealing more information into how the FBI’s case was handled.

The lawsuit led to the discovery of additional classified emails by Clinton that were never disclosed by the State Department, in March.

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti filed a declaration in support of the groups’ motion to reveal the unredacted subpoenas because of the “significant public interest” regarding the Clinton email investigation and its implications for national security.

FBI says lack of public interest in Hillary emails justifies withholding documents

August 29, 2017

FBI says lack of public interest in Hillary emails justifies withholding documents, Washington Times,

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Book Expo event in New York on June 1, 2017. (Associated Press)

“I’m just stunned. This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election, but she didn’t. It looks like the Obama Administration is still running the FBI,” Mr. Clevenger told The Washington Times.

“How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception,” he said.

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Hillary Clinton’s case isn’t interesting enough to the public to justify releasing the FBI’s files on her, the bureau said this week in rejecting an open-records request by a lawyer seeking to have the former secretary of state punished for perjury.

Ty Clevenger, the lawyer, has been trying to get Mrs. Clinton and her personal lawyers disbarred for their handling of her official emails during her time as secretary of state. He’s met with resistance among lawyers, and now his request for information from the FBI’s files has been shot down.

“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.

“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Mr. Hardy wrote.

Mrs. Clinton, is the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, former chief diplomat, former U.S. senator, and former first lady of both the U.S. and Arkansas. Her use of a secret email account to conduct government business while leading the State Department was front-page news for much of 2015 and 2016, and was so striking that the then-FBI director broke with procedure and made both a public statement and appearances before Congress to talk about the bureau’s probe.

In the end, the FBI didn’t recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton, concluding that while she risked national security, she was too technologically inept to know the dangers she was running, so no case could be made against her.

The FBI says it will only release records from its files if a subject consents, is dead, or is of such public interest that it overrides privacy concerns.

Mr. Clevenger said he thought it would have been clear why Mrs. Clinton’s case was of public interest, but he sent documentation anyway, pointing to a request by members of Congress for an investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton perjured herself in testimony to Capitol Hill.

“I’m just stunned. This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election, but she didn’t. It looks like the Obama Administration is still running the FBI,” Mr. Clevenger told The Washington Times.

“How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception,” he said.

The FBI didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday on how it balances public interest versus privacy in open-records requests.

Feds Spends Millions on Failed Program to Combat Extremism in America

July 28, 2017

Feds Spends Millions on Failed Program to Combat Extremism in America, Washington Free Beacon, , July 28, 2017

Members of a Federal Bureau of Investigation SWAT team are seen during an FBI field training exercise / Getty Images

“The time has come to definitely have a more direct approach,” said Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, which seeks to counter extremist ideologies. “Fluff stuff and interfaith dialogue hasn’t really led to much deradicalization. There needs to be specific policies put in place that tackle the ideology.”

Raza also called on Congress to formally designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization due to its efforts to foment radical ideologies.

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The U.S. government has spent millions in taxpayer dollars on programs to combat violent extremism, despite the absence of evidence these programs have prevented the growth of terrorists in the United States, according to Congress, which criticized the FBI and Department of Homeland Security for enacting policy preventing its authorities from referencing “Islam” and “Islamic terrorism.”

The FBI and DHS are still providing upwards of $10 million dollars to fund a slew of community organizations committed to countering the rise of homegrown terrorism. Nevertheless there is little evidence these programs have had an impact, and in some cases, the money has been awarded to “partisan” organizations that have ties to the anti-Israel movement and radical groups such as Black Lives Matter, according to Congress.

The matter sparked a heated debate Thursday between congressional officials on the House National Security Subcommittee and senior law enforcement officials in the Trump administration.

Lawmakers accused DHS and the FBI of relying on Obama-era policies that downplay Islamic terrorism, despite clear guidance from the Trump administration that it does not support this approach.

Law enforcement anti-extremism training manuals—which were codified under an Obama-era program known as Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE—continue to ban the use of such terms as “Islamic extremism.”

While government reports have concluded that these programs are a failure, federal agencies continue to rely on them, sparking concern in Congress amid an uptick in domestic terrorism cases.

The FBI continues to have active terrorism investigations in all 50 states and at least 128 individuals have been charged in the last three years of attempting to aid ISIS.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), chair of the subcommittee on national security, verbally sparred with officials from DHS and FBI, who continue to maintain that these CVE programs have been a success.

“Radical Islamic extremism is the primary driver of this problem and deserves the federal government’s immediate attention,” DeSantis said during the hearing.

“Currently, [DHS] still follows the Obama-era policies related to CVE,” DeSantis added. “The guidance developed during the Obama administration specifically limits any intelligence or law enforcement investigative activity through CVE.”

“The government manuals, they will not mention radical Islam, they don’t use anything associated with the word Islam,” he said.

“By leaving this information on the table, CVE efforts are potentially missing opportunities to identify and disrupt terrorist plots,” DeSantis said. “Obama era guidance also fails to properly identify the threat of radical Islamic ideology.”

The Obama-era guidance on the matter, which is still being used, “does not even mention radical Islamic terrorism at all,” DeSantis said.

Grants totaling some $10 million for community organizations that are part of the CVE effort are still being awarded to groups with “questionable agendas,” DeSantis said, noting instances in which grants were given to partisan organizations and those with stated anti-Israel agendas.

DHS has declined to share information on these grant recipients with Congress and also has refused multiple requests from these lawmakers for a briefing on the situation, DeSantis disclosed.

Experts who testified alongside officials from DHS and the FBI also described the CVE programs as a failure.

“The time has come to definitely have a more direct approach,” said Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, which seeks to counter extremist ideologies. “Fluff stuff and interfaith dialogue hasn’t really led to much deradicalization. There needs to be specific policies put in place that tackle the ideology.”

Raza also called on Congress to formally designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization due to its efforts to foment radical ideologies.

Raza pointed to polls showing that 27 percent of Muslims support the execution of non-believers, while around 26 percent of young American Muslims believe that suicide bombing against non-Muslims can be justified.