June 24, 2024 – AFL Part 3: New docs from disbanded DHS group reveal how January 6 and the raid at Mar-a-Lago emboldened DHS to expand monitoring Americans

In Email/Dossier/Govt Corruption Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

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Today, following its victory in disbanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Homeland Intelligence Experts Group,” America First Legal (AFL) is releasing the third tranche of the group’s internal meeting notes, exclusively obtained from litigation. This is the third installment of #DeepStateDiaries, a multi-part series of releases including newly obtained documents.

Today’s installment shows how the Biden administration’s allies on the Brennan-Clapper committee discussed using January 6 and the manufactured raid at Mar-a-Lago to justify further targeting and surveillance of political dissent.

January 6 as a catalyst for expanding surveillance:

One group member noted that “prior to January 6th” (i.e., under the Trump administration), analysts thought that “it was inappropriate to collect” intelligence on Americans. Following January 6, however, they observed that there had been a change in collection and reporting methods.

The documents indicate that under the Biden Administration, the federal government has used January 6 to justify expanding efforts to collect intelligence on what they deem “DVE” or “Domestic Violent Extremists.” As the second installment of the #DeepStateDiaries showed, DVE is the group’s term for people who are “religious,” “in the military,” or support President Trump.

The Brennan-Clapper-led group discussed “collection based on sites where they expect to see indicators,” suggesting that the federal government sought to monitor sites they viewed as “domestic extremism threats.”

Notably, one group member asked, “When you are looking at speech online, how do you know if it is serious? Political? Hyperbole?” The Biden Administration’s historical approach, as evidenced by these documents and the Department of Justice’s sentencing of Douglass Mackey to 7 months in prison for posting memes ahead of the 2016 election, is that speech online should be considered “serious” only when it comes from conservatives.

As another data point, later in the conversation, someone else again mentioned how “efforts to collect” intelligence have noticeably changed post-January 6.

As another data point, later in the conversation, someone else again mentioned how “efforts to collect” intelligence have noticeably changed post-January 6.

And yet another participant noted that the “support” for the “mission set” has changed post-January 6 at the “departmental” level and has “become political.”

The translation is that the committee appears to have been interested in DHS using the DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis to push the bounds on activity—traditionally thought to be off limits—and is using January 6 as the excuse to do it.

The following statement, from an unknown Group member, sheds some light on where that political support is coming from. Recall that this Group was full of security state officials who aligned themselves with the political left (98% of the political contributions from the Group members went to Democratic candidates for office, whereas 1% went to Republican candidates for office).

This Group Member went so far as to encourage I&A to lean into using practices that 1) even the FBI says it does not have the authority to do, 2) the Senate has refused to give to any law enforcement agency, and 3) Members of Congress generally oppose. But in the name of getting “actionable intelligence,” the Brennan-Clapper-led group urges I&A to ramp up “collection” on “U.S. Persons” without a “foreign nexus” and “trade authorities for civil liberties.” Click here for pages on this matter.

Disturbingly, the group went on to discuss that around January 6, the “FBI testified that they were limited with what they could do with social media,” but that “action reporting” post-January 6 may have changed. This suggests that the group was planning to potentially advise DHS to ramp up efforts to monitor political dissent on social media.

Using the raid at Mar-a-Lago as a catalyst to expand activity:

The group also discussed using the fabricated and illegal raid on President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago – where the FBI staged photographs to manufacture incriminating evidence – to justify its expanded activities. With respect to Mar-a-Lago, one Group member said there was “reason to be concerned about a violent reaction” after the raid.

The group also discussed whether this is “politically driven or in [their] mission space,” and one group member noted they should be aware of the “public optics” of this activity.

In considering threats of “violence,” the group also discussed a hypothetical scenario in which “there is a shooting with 12 injured” and whether that would require a national response from DHS and if it falls into a “domestic violent extremism” category.

Just last week, 5 people were killed and 8 were wounded in Chicago, and in Washington, D.C., 4 people were shot. Yet, the Brennan-Clapper does not appear to be concerned with addressing the rampant rising crime and violence in American cities; it is only when they can attribute violence to political opposition that they label violence as domestic extremism.

These documents, obtained exclusively by AFL through litigation against DHS, prove there is a pronounced difference between how I&A operated (collected and reported intelligence for DHS) before and after January 6. They demonstrate how the standards followed under the Trump administration to respect Constitutional rights and civil liberties are apparently no longer followed under the Biden administration.

Stay tuned for the next installment of #DeepStateDiaries…

In the first installment, AFL released documents showing how the group proposed expanding DHS’s reach into local communities in an “ambiguous” and “non-threatening” way and contemplating ways to get teachers and mothers to report their children.

In the second installment, AFL showed how the Biden Administration proposed using military, religious, and even political (Trump supporters) affiliations to tag Americans as prone to committing violent attacks.

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