DOJ Official Says Jan. 6 Prosecution Is Behind Rise in Domestic Terrorism Cases

During a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, a top Justice Department official revealed that the number of domestic terrorism cases in the country has soared since early 2020.

According to Matt Olsen, the assistant attorney general leading the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the “number of FBI investigations of suspected domestic violent extremism has more than doubled since the spring of 2020.”

When asked by Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) — who is also a member of the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 — whether the rise in investigations has led to a rise in indictments, not including Jan. 6 prosecutions, Olsen said he didn’t any data on the question.

“I don’t have a specific number on that, congressman, because that number, that jump, doubling, that number does include the Jan. 6 cases and there, of course, we have over 800 arrests of individuals,” Olsen said.

“Not all of them are characterized as domestic violent extremists, to be clear, but many are, and those do account for at least a significant portion of that jump over the past two years in the number of investigations,” he added.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department revealed that over 850 people have been arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including more than 260 who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

During his testimony, Olsen said that Jan. 6 “stands apart” and “represents now the single largest domestic terrorism investigation in the nation’s history.” Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to prosecute anyone who was “criminally responsible for interfering with the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another.”

In January, Olsen announced the formation of a new DOJ “domestic terrorism unit.”

Olsen also spoke briefly Thursday about the rise in pro-abortion violence and threats directed towards the Supreme Court’s conservative justices and various pro-life organizations across the country. The assistant attorney general told lawmakers the FBI has opened cases involving many of the attacks, and has designated some of them “domestic violent extremist cases.”

For months, Republicans have pushed the Justice Department to investigate the explosion in pro-abortion violence.