During a recent House Oversight Committee hearing, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity why “white supremacists” are charged differently than terrorists. AOV wanted to know why two shootings at faith groups were not treated as domestic terror.
“That’s not correct, I don’t know who told you that we did,” McGarrity responded. “But we certainly had cases open on them. In both those cases, and I wasn’t here for the Dylann Roof case, but certainly, in our own Department of Justice civil rights about three or four weeks ago there was testimony that actually stated it was a domestic terrorism event – charged in the Department of Justice Civil Rights division for a hate crime.”
Roof, a white supremacist, murdered nine black churchgoers during a prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina.
The other case Ocasio-Cortez cited was an attack on a synagogue, which was also handled both as domestic terror and a hate crime, McGarrity affirmed.
“I was here,” he said.
.@RepAOC @AOC: "Every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day that we are putting hundreds if not potentially thousands of Americans at risk. I mean, really, what is next, putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs?!? This is ridiculous." pic.twitter.com/EkTPWbwIn4
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 2, 2019
“What we do, both on an international terrorism side with a homegrown violent extremist and domestic terrorism, we’ll use any tool in the tool kit to arrest them,” McGarrity continued. “Hopefully, left of attack, should it be after, likely that hate crime statute will come to play through the civil rights division as a charge because it’s a good federal charge for us … in fact, on the record it’s stated it is domestic terrorism.”
After these comments, Ocasio-Cortez claimed there were two conflicting testimonies – hers and the FBI official’s.
When she insisted that one case was categorized as “domestic terrorism,” McGarrity corrected her again.
“You’re not going to find an actual charge of domestic terrorism out there. If you look at title 18, right…”
AOC interrupted him, insisting that Muslims suspects are treated differently.
“No that is not, correct,” McGarrity said.
When she demanded to know why white supremacists are not charged with foreign terrorism, he replied, “Because Congress doesn’t have a statute for us for domestic terrorism like we do on a foreign terrorist organization.”
This exchange was posted online by investigative reporter Sara Carter and the internet got a kick out of AOC being told she was wrong over and over by the FBI.
Twitchy noted, “We could watch AOC getting schooled by an FBI official on domestic terrorism ALL day.”