by Julie Kelly
It’s been a gold star week for the men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Nearly six months after the events of January 6, the FBI, under the direction of Joe Biden’s vengeful Justice Department, is accelerating the nationwide manhunt for anyone involved. Since June 23, agents have arrested 17 people from Florida to California. Charges range from assaulting police officers and criminal trespassing to something called “destruction of property in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and aiding and abetting.”
The dragnet is part of the nonstop campaign of terror unleashed by the Biden regime against the political Right. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who compares January 6 to the Oklahoma City bombing and Capitol protesters to terrorists, pledged the “Capitol breach” probe would be his top priority. Garland last week bragged in a press release that his department reached the “benchmark” of arresting 500 people and warned he would “hold all January 6 perpetrators accountable” for their actions that day. His prosecutors routinely ask the courts to keep the accused behind bars awaiting trials that won’t start until late this year or perhaps even 2022; dozens have been held for months in a D.C. jail that specifically houses January 6 defendants.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, despite assurances his agency treats all protesters the same regardless of partisan affiliation (LOL), is happy to assist Garland in his mission. Wray insists “domestic violent extremists”—code for Trump supporters—pose the greatest security threat to the country.
The Elderly Menace
His agency has been on a tear of late. One of the dangerous perpetrators captured by the FBI this week is Lois Lynn McNicoll, who was arrested in California on June 28. McNicoll, 69, is a Los Angeles County public employee; the FBI was tipped off by one of her co-workers.
As is often the case, McNicoll talked to Special Agent Daniel Dale without an attorney present. (Many January 6 defendants have cooperated with the FBI under the presumption they did nothing wrong and wanted to help the agency catch the real bad guys.) Dale “interviewed the defendant at her place of employment in a non-custodial capacity,” the agent wrote in McNicoll’s criminal complaint. “The defendant was informed that any participation was voluntary and that she was free to terminate the interview at any time. The defendant affirmed that she understood.”
So, what did this alleged domestic terrorist do? A little before 3:00 p.m. on January 6, McNicoll entered the Capitol building through an open door. Surveillance video captured by the U.S. Capitol Police security system—more than 14,000 hours of footage to which only the government and a few congressional committees have access—shows McNicoll taking a few photos inside the building. After being ushered out of the building by police, she exited the complex about 30 minutes later.
McNicoll didn’t vandalize anything, she didn’t steal anything, she didn’t attack anyone. It’s not even clear whether she spoke to anyone; it appears as though she went in the building alone.
But Dale claimed there is “probable cause” to conclude McNicoll committed at least four federal offenses during her half-hour “crime spree.” This includes trespassing and “willfully and knowingly . . . utter[ing] loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage[ing] in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress.”
For this, McNicoll will have her reputation destroyed and her finances depleted. She probably will lose her job. Presumably, this gratifies the rank-and-file of the FBI, who can pat themselves on their backs for ruining the life of an American citizen on the wrong side of the political aisle.
“So Shaky She Can’t Hardly Talk”
The FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid at the home of three January 6 suspects on Wednesday. Neighbors told WFLA-TV reporter Staci DaSilva they were awakened at 5:30 a.m. by loud “boom” noises and FBI agents shouting on loudspeakers outside the home. One man recorded the raid on his phone and said he thought the FBI used flashbang devices during the raid. “It was like maybe 5:30 or so. I jumped up and grabbed a gun because I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
Video later showed several FBI agents taking items out of the home and placing them into large government vehicles. A family member of the accused told DaSilva she was “so shaky she can’t hardly talk.” One of the men arrested, a paramedic with Polk County Fire Rescue, will be fired.
There are countless similar stories. I wrote last week about the arrest of a Florida pastor and his son for their alleged involvement in the January 6 protest. Neither is accused of committing a violent crime, but the son was arrested by the FBI in front of his three-year-old daughter.
While the U.S. southern border remains wide open for drug and human smugglers and neighborhoods in inner cities resemble Third-World war zones each night, the country’s top law enforcement agency, with an almost religious zeal, is hunting down sightseeing grandmothers, disabled veterans, and other Americans. There’s even valid speculation the FBI isn’t just working this operation from the outside but from the inside, too.
Do You Trust the FBI?
A few days ago, I spoke to the spouse of a January 6 defendant who has been in jail for months awaiting trial. She told me about the FBI raid of their home, which occurred at 9:30 p.m. on a Sunday night in front of their young child. (American Greatness is concealing their identities to minimize the risk of reprisal.)
Twenty agents showed up with weapons drawn to arrest him and ransack the house. She was taken into a separate room—the couple did not ask to have an attorney present—where she was interrogated by three FBI agents. They asked her who they voted for and which political party they identified with. The agents grilled her about what news channels they watched and their views on immigration, including the border wall.
She was asked if they followed QAnon. (The FBI has given lawmakers a report titled “Adherence to QAnon Conspiracy Theory by Some Domestic Violent Extremists,” which claims the “participation of some domestic violent extremists (DVE) who are also self-identified QAnon adherents in the violent siege of the US Capitol on 6 January underscores how the current environment likely will continue to act as a catalyst for some to begin accepting the legitimacy of violent action.”)
The FBI agents asked her if she belonged to a group such as the Oath Keepers or Three Percenters. She told me she had no idea what they were talking about.
“Obviously it was stupid to talk to the FBI, but we’re not criminals, we weren’t hiding anything, [and] I knew he did nothing wrong that day,” she told me by text. “I’d like to think I answered their questions wisely and honestly but now I realize . . . how they turn everything against you. Most of the questions I answered I don’t know or I can’t remember. I feel so stupid!!!”
She shouldn’t feel stupid for cooperating with a powerful government agency entrusted with tracking down real criminals, as opposed American citizens who did nothing wrong on January 6. The only people who should feel stupid are the FBI officials and agents conducting this destructive farce disguised as a legitimate investigation.
Republicans would do well to abandon their longtime, reflexive loyalty to the FBI. With all the talk of defunding the police, it’s clear the nation’s most powerful police department is a threat to civil liberties and the rule of law. Maybe it’s time to defund the FBI.
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of ‘Happy Hour podcast with Julie and Liz.’ She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.