Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Lawmakers seek FBI, DHS insight regarding QAnon threats

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A group of lawmakers recently forwarded correspondence to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting a written assessment regarding QAnon threats domestically and abroad.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined a group of Democratic colleagues that includes Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in writing to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Joseph Maher.

“As the FBI, the U.S. House of Representatives and multiple organizations and researchers have detailed, QAnon conspiracy theories have inspired acts of domestic extremism and violence, sought to undermine democratic institutions and contributed to hatred in the United States and overseas,” the legislators wrote. “There is also reporting indicating that foreign influence operations have contributed to the dissemination of QAnon conspiracy theories.”

The lawmakers noted QAnon has been active in attacking the nation’s democratic institutions by disseminating false conspiracy theories, including information about the November 2020 presidential election.

“We request that you provide to Congress a written assessment of the threat posed by QAnon, in the United States and abroad, and on the role of foreign influence operations in the inception and amplification of QAnon conspiracy theories,” the lawmakers concluded. “We further request that this assessment be made public, with any classified matters provided separately to Congress through appropriate channels.”

In addition to Baldwin, Schumer, and Heinrich, officials said Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) signed the correspondence.