During a recent House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Gaetz successfully got Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz to admit to the room that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has conducted at least 3.4 million warrantless "backdoor searches" of Americans' communications, which is a violation of the law.
(Related: The Supreme Court is said to be looking into the constitutionality of warrantless home invasions.)
While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) does allow intelligence agencies to conduct targeted surveillance of foreigners located outside the United States, it does not permit agencies like the FBI to spy on actual Americans, which is what the agency has been doing.
A 2022 transparency report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) shows that in 2021 alone, the FBI conducted a shocking 3.4 million backdoor searches, which Gaetz questioned Horowitz about during the hearing.
"I want to get into the 3.4 million backdoor searches that the ranking member pointed out in his opening statement," Gaetz said, addressing Horowitz directly. "How should the public think about those?"
"Well, I think what we've seen in the various public reports – and I'm limited in what I can say about what's public – it's obviously very concerning that there's that volume of searches and particularly concerning the error rate that was reported on in the last two years in the public reporting," Horowitz responded, adding that these FBI queries came with about a 30 percent error rate.
"How many people can perform these backdoor queries?" Gaetz then asked in response.
"I'm going to defer to board members 'cause you have the review ongoing," Horowitz said back, referring to Sharon Bradford Franklin, chair of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Franklin then joined the conversation, stating that she does not have those types of figures at her fingertips "in terms of the number of people that can conduct those types of searches."
"But I share the concern expressed in the question that we need to have greater safeguard requirements," she added.
Gaetz then reentered the fray by asking Horowitz if he believes it is safe to assume that there are at least 10,000 people in the federal government who are able to perform such queries, to which Horowitz responded in the affirmative – you can watch the exchange below:
BREAKING: DOJ Inspector General ADMITS that the FBI has done 3.4 million warrantless “backdoor searches!”
Over a MILLION of which were in error. pic.twitter.com/t9VcVp4iYx
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) April 27, 2023
In the comments, someone wrote the FBI's spying and surveillance activities, besides being unconstitutional, are a form of political persecution that has been going on for much longer than just since 2021.
"What is the penalty for violating American citizens' rights 3.4 million times?" asked another. "There needs to be one – and one that has mandatory jail time and loss of the perps' rights."
"It has to be less than the standard slap on the wrist they usually get otherwise they wouldn't have done it 3.4 million times in a single YEAR!!!" someone else responded.
Others asked if there is any justice left to deal with these "corrupt, woke, traitor pieces of scum" who deserved to be charged with federal crimes.
"Seems like the old Soviet Union is still alive and well, and living in the heads of Democrat lawmakers," joked someone else.
"Do you know the history of the Bolshevik revolution?" asked another. "If not, then you should because it all ties together with what is going on today."
More related news about the corrupt FBI can be found at FBI.news.
Sources for this article include: