Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government intended for Thursday’s subcommittee hearing to help prove his point that the FBI has been wrongly targeting conservative agents. Jordan would bring forward whistleblowers, he promised, who would testify that the FBI stripped them of their security clearances for purely political reasons. However, Jordan’s efforts backfired even before they began. The FBI delivered Jordan a letter Wednesday night that lists what the bureau says are the real reasons why his witnesses were found unworthy of their security clearances.

The letter from Christopher Dunham, acting assistant director of the bureau, is a convincing rebuttal of Jordan’s story that the FBI retaliated against well-meaning public servants for expressing views contrary to their agency. Dunham explains that the agents in question had their security clearances revoked, pending appeal, for a number of reasons, including questions about their allegiance, reported criminal conduct, personal misconduct and how sensitive information was handled.

Four of the five Proud Boys members found guilty Thursday for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol were convicted of seditious conspiracy, a rare and gravely serious federal charge. Those seditious conspiracy convictionscombined with earlier ones against the leader of the Oath Keepers and his close associate, represent strategic victories in the Department of Justice’s continuing battle to preserve democracy and are worthy of celebration.

But convictions against groups of bad actors sometimes lead to a far greater possibility of attacks carried out by lone actors. That’s why caution is warranted. The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers convictions could be good, bad and ugly all at the same time.


The FBI released its 2022 annual Active Shooter Report on Wednesday. If you were pressed for time and chose to read only the first page executive summary, you might think the data was trending in the right direction: It states there was an 18% decline in active shootings last year (50 incidents) versus 2021 (61). Yet — as with many statistical reports — the devil is in the details. While it’s understandable to celebrate 11 fewer active shooter incidents, it’s the numbers that increased that should give us pause.

First, one would think that the fewer active shooter incidents per year, the safer we all are. But — for last year at least — that wasn’t the case. Though active shootings were down, the shooters killed or wounded almost six dozen more victims in 2022 versus 2021. (As explained in the report, the FBI defines an “active shooter” as: “One or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”) The casualty count from those events was the highest in the last five years. 2022 was a violent year for victims killed or wounded by active shooters. In 2020 there were 164 such casualties; in 2021 that number rose to 243; and last year the dead or wounded figure climbed again to 313.


Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information. Authorities say he’s responsible for releasing potentially hundreds of highly classified documents, first within a small online video gaming group on the Discord platform, then more broadly across social media. He was not required to enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday.

The allegations against the suspect highlight a dangerous and embarrassing disparity: Corporate America has better insider threat programs than the Defense Department does. Our vulnerability to such threats is a problem that the Pentagon and Congress must address now.

A Florida man was arraigned on criminal charges in Manhattan on Tuesday without much incident. Yes, the man was former President Donald Trump, who called his indictment “persecution” and instructed his followers to protest, to little avail. Outspoken Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., showed up to lead a protest but quickly fled, deeming counterprotests loud enough to “cause audible damage.”  

Following initial news of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump on March 30, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson hosted a guest who advocated for “unrest,” saying, “If that’s what they want, let’s get to it.” Still, there was no security incident to report. At least yet; it’s way too early to declare victory over the threat posed by a former president who incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But it’s not too soon to assess the factors that will bring that risk picture into focus.

In a Truth Social post on Saturday in which he claimed he’ll be arrested by New York officials Tuesday for hush money he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels, former President Donald Trump called for his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” Trump’s post is one of the reasons we need to be concerned about whether in response to any of the criminal investigations he faces, violent extremists will mobilize on his behalf as they did Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump’s potential indictment by a Manhattan grand jurypotential indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, and potential indictment by federal grand juries mean our law enforcement and security agencies — and, in fact, our very rule of law — could be sorely tested. For example, on March 8, Vice News reported that the violent domestic extremist group Boogaloo Boys has been ramping up its radicalization and recruitment efforts in the hopes of sparking an anti-government civil war and that the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago in August helped spark the group’s online recruitment efforts. The challenges go beyond securing any individual courthouse and include whether local, county, state and federal law enforcement can withstand — better yet, prevent — another violent assault on our system from domestic extremists driven by allegiance to a twice impeached former president.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden went to Monterey Park — the site of a deadly mass shooting in January —  not only to console the still grieving California community, but also to announce his executive actions aimed at trying to contain the epidemic of gun violence. The president’s pronouncements were his latest attempt to demonstrate leadership in the face of entrenched Republican recalcitrance to passing meaningful gun control legislation. “Enough. Do something,” he said, quoting Americans mourning those lost in mass shootings.

While many of the measures he offered reflected the reality of playing defense in the fight against lawmakers who are backed by the National Rifle Association, at least one of his strategies presents a chance to take the gloves off, a chance he should take. He directed “…members of his Cabinet to encourage effective use of extreme risk protection orders, including by “partnering with law enforcement, health care providers, educators, and other community leaders.”

Why did some FBI agents reportedly want to treat the Trump case differently than other cases involving an uncooperative former government employee?

On Wednesday, The Washington Post took us behind the scenes into what it reports were heated debates between FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors over whether to search for classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, or close the case altogether. Like any glimpse at the proverbial sausage being made, the revelations weren’t pretty, and the raw details were difficult to digest.

The truth is that rigorous — and even loud — disagreements between FBI agents and federal prosecutors frequently happen in complex, high-stakes cases. That’s a sign of a healthy collaborative environment. So the fact that there were disagreements on how or if to proceed with an investigation into Trump isn’t necessarily a problem. But I’m convinced that these disagreements arose in part because of the attacks Trump has launched against the FBI, and that’s a serious concern.

We track local library books better than we manage classified White House documents. It’s time to do something about that.

Last week, classified materials were found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home. Of course, that discovery followed the discoveries of classified documents at President Joe Biden’s vacated office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and at his Delaware residence. And those two cases came after the FBI executed a search warrant to retrieve documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida. Also, in December, Trump’s attorneys reportedly found two documents with classified markings at a storage unit in West Palm Beach.

We track local library books better than we manage classified White House documents. It’s time to do something about that.


This case presents a daunting damage and risk assessment for the U.S. intelligence community.

The FBI arrested one of its former agents Saturday on the suspicion that, before and after he left the bureau, he committed a series of crimes that include taking money from a former foreign agent and violating U.S. sanctions against Russia by working with and on behalf of an oligarch with known ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Charles McGonigal, retired since late 2018, was the special agent in charge of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York office, the largest in the bureau. Disturbingly, McGonigal’s alleged criminal relationship with foreign intelligence operatives is said to have begun while he was the head of counterintelligence operations there and continued after his retirement. Allegations included in a federal indictment against McGonigal and a former Soviet and Russian diplomat mention their use of shell companies and a forged signature to conceal the involvement of the oligarch. Another indictment just against McGonigal accuses him of taking a large cash payment from a former foreign agent while inside a car.