Republican lawmakers are attacking the FBI after the agency reportedly listed a series of groups and their logos that it said were indicative of “militia violent extremism” in a leaked training document obtained by the far-right organization “Project Veritas.”
According to Project Veritas, the FBI’s “Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide,” includes common images such as the Betsy Ross flag (an earlier design of the U.S. flag that features 13 stars instead of 50), the Gonzales battle flag, the Gadsden flag, and the Liberty Tree.
In the document, the FBI stressed that simply using the symbols or terms is not evidence of wrongdoing. The bulletin also lists U.S. Capitol riots shooting victim Ashli Babbitt as someone considered a “martyr” by militia violent extremists (MVE) and the Second Amendment as how militias “justify their existence” because of the right to bear arms.
The revelation from Project Veritas triggered some Republicans, who are accusing the FBI of targetting conservatives.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed his boot on a table while ranting that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice have become “thoroughly politicized.”
“I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back,” he said, before slapping the boot on the table. The flag is linked to the 1835 Battle of Gonzales, during which the first shots were fired in the Texas Revolution. It depicts a cannon, with a lone star above and the words “Come and Take It” underneath.
Cruz also criticized FBI director Christopher Wray for not including left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
“Instead, you identify patriotic Americans as suspect,” Cruz said.
Ted Cruz brandishes his boot during a Senate hearing pic.twitter.com/qBQRijo9Tu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 4, 2022
Meanwhile, GOP Congresswoman and QAnon evangelist Marjorie Taylor Greene is calling for the purging of the FBI.
“So this is shocking and it’s completely wrong,” Greene said in a webcast on Thursday. “The FBI needs to be purged of individuals that have this and think that these, these logos, are examples of violent extremism because they’re not.”
“As a matter of fact, most regular Americans all over America have these symbols and logos and do not think that actually [Ashli] Babbitt is in any way shape, or form a person that inspires them to attack the United States government,” the Georgia Republican added.
“What is happening to the FBI? I think that’s a question we should ask,” she added.
Marjorie Taylor Greene said, “the FBI needs to be purged” for documenting the logos used by militias and violent extremists, and claimed “most regular Americans all over America have these symbols and logos.” pic.twitter.com/hCfrjnc0fN
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) August 4, 2022