The FBI should cut ties with the “extremely biased and unreliable source” Southern Poverty Law Center because of its long track record of smearing the left’s political opponents, Sens. Chuck Grassley and James Lankford urged in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday, shared exclusively with The Federalist.
As of September, the senators were made aware that the FBI, which more than half the nation believes should face reprimand for weaponizing itself against Americans, “still uses the SPLC as a source as long as their bias is disclosed.”
Considering the SPLC’s long history of tarnishing organizations with Christian missions or conservative ties via a “hate map,” Grassley and Lankford said the FBI should “permanently refrain from relying on the SPLC as a source for any data or information for purported objective analysis, particularly related to designations of hate groups.”
“The FBI should not lend credibility to an organization that labels traditional values as ‘hate,’” the senators warned, concluding that “any use of SPLC data by the FBI” is “inappropriate and should be stopped immediately.”
The SPLC is known for disseminating its “hate group” list, which contains at least 1,225 organizations, to Democrat allies in Congress, Big Tech, and woke corporations on a regular basis. The activist hub recently aided the Biden regime’s quest to target concerned parents by sullying a dozen grassroots groups, including Moms For Liberty, as “anti-government extremist groups” in its 2022 “hate and extremism” report.
The leftist organization has also gained infamy in recent years for galvanizing a Virginia man to attack the Family Research Council (FRC) and for the behavior of its staff, like lawyer Thomas Webb Jurgens, who faces domestic terrorism charges for his role in targeting an Atlanta police training facility with rocks and incendiary devices.
It was only after the FRC attack that the FBI removed the SPLC as one of the resources listed on the agency’s Hate Crime landing page.
“Removing this reference from your webpage was the right move, but the FBI should completely distance itself from the SPLC in other respects,” Grassley and Lankford wrote.
The FBI’s memo targeting traditional Catholics, which was leaked from the Bureau’s Richmond, Virginia Division in February 2023, “heavily relied on data from the SPLC” to justify the surveillance and possible investigation of Christians who attended Latin Mass.
In a recent briefing, senators received confirmation that FBI analysts still have permission to “use the SPLC as a source if the analyst makes it clear in their product that the SPLC is biased.”
“This indicates that the FBI believes that the use of the SPLC as a source in the Richmond document was wrong only because the document did not disclose the SPLC’s bias and therefore lacked transparency,” the senators wrote. “It would follow that if the Richmond document had disclosed the SPLC’s bias, the FBI would find no fault with the use of SPLC’s data regarding ‘Radical Traditional Catholicism.’”
Grassley and Lankford asserted that “there is never a legitimate reason to use the SPLC as a source” because “any original analysis by the SPLC is too biased to be useful.”
“While labeling others as hateful, it’s the SPLC that has perpetuated hate. The FBI should be concerned that the SPLC targets people of faith. Instead, the FBI chose to use SPLC data as justification for intelligence assessments of traditional Catholics,” the senators continued.
The FBI and all of its field offices should cease to use the SPLC as an “investigative source” and “analytical product,” the senators said. They also gave the FBI until Oct. 27 to “assure that other reports have not been corrupted by the use of the SPLC in their analysis.”
The letter comes on the heels of a report indicating the FBI is targeting Trump voters as domestic extremists ahead of the 2024 election. Agency data reviewed by Newsweek indicates “nearly two-thirds of the FBI’s current investigations” center on Trump supporters and others accused of disregarding “anti-riot” laws.