DOJ Granting Itself New Powers Over American Citizens

A senior Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cial opened the door to seek­ing new leg­isla­tive author­i­ties to pur­sue domes­tic ter­ror­ism, a step the Biden admin­is­tra­tion has yet to enter­tain since the Jan­u­ary 6 insur­rec­tion and some­thing civ­il lib­er­tar­i­ans have warned against.

The prospect of expand­ed inves­tiga­tive and pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al tools arose dur­ing a Fri­day brief­ing with reporters in which mul­ti­ple Jus­tice Depart­ment and FBI offi­cials described an expan­sive array of author­i­ties already avail­able to them.

While there is no domes­tic ter­ror­ism statute, and U.S. offi­cials can not des­ig­nate a domes­tic group for sanc­tion like they can a for­eign one, one senior offi­cial acknowl­edged that statu­to­ry def­i­n­i­tions of domes­tic ter­ror­ism “expand a lot of author­i­ties we can use,” such nation­wide search war­rants, expand­ed law-enforce­ment access to tax and edu­ca­tion­al records, and harsh­er sentencing.

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