A Republican-led committee is investigating claims of institutional bias in the US criminal justice system
A former FBI agent has told US lawmakers in Washington that there’s been a loss of trust in the law enforcement agency among many Americans, and that the bureau has become “politically weaponized” by the federal government.
Nicole Parker, a former FBI special agent, testified on Thursday before a House committee investigating the so-called ‘weaponization’ of the federal government. She said it appeared “as if there became two FBIs” during her career with the law enforcement bureau.
Parker, who was employed by the FBI between 2011 and 2022, explained in her testimony that a chasm existed between the organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC and the various field offices across the US.
“The FBI became politically weaponized, starting at the top in Washington [and] trickling down to the field offices,” Parker said. “On paper, the bureau’s mission remained the same, but its priorities and governing principles shifted dramatically. All this adds up to a loss of trust in the FBI by many Americans and low morale among many FBI employees.”
Parker had previously said in a Fox News op-ed last month that the FBI had been weighed down by “one politicization issue after another.” She cited the situation which saw FBI agents kneel in support of Black Lives Matter protesters following the death of George Floyd in 2020 as one instance of the agency wading into political issues.
Parker left the FBI late last year, “with an exemplary and spotless record.”
The FBI said on Thursday in a statement to the New York Post that it expects its agents “to uphold the highest standards.”
“Our work is critical in protecting the American people from a variety of threats and in upholding their constitutional rights,” it added.
The subcommittee is chaired by Republican Jim Jordan, a noted critic of the alleged politicization of the FBI and the US Justice Department. He has also accused the agencies of targeting conservatives, and claimed to have been contacted by “dozens and dozens” of FBI agents who alleged political bias within the agency.
In January, the House voted across party lines to set up the ‘weaponization’ subcommittee. It is also investigating methods used by the US government in the collection and analysis of information on US citizens