Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, asserted that tech industry leaders and Democrats such as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and former CIA director John Brennan are "domestic enemies" of the U.S. who are more dangerous than the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.
In a video and thread posted to Twitter Tuesday morning, the former Democratic presidential candidate denounced the violent protesters, but warned that efforts to combat insurgency through surveillance and other monitoring activities posed a greater threat to the country.
"The mob who stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try to stop Congress from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities were behaving like domestic enemies of our country," Gabbard said. "But let’s be clear, the John Brennans, Adam Schiffs and the oligarchs in Big Tech who are trying to undermine our constitutionally protected rights and turn our country into a police state with KGB-style surveillance are also domestic enemies — and much more powerful, and therefore dangerous, than the mob that stormed the Capitol."
Gabbard then showed a clip of Brennan telling MSNBC that Biden’s nominees and appointees "are now moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can" regarding activities that he said were reminiscent of "insurgency movements" that have risen up in other countries.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, introduced a bill in 2019 that would create a new statute for a federal offense of domestic terrorism. The bill did recognize the potential for abuse, calling for a report on civil liberty issues that arise from the new statute to be made public within four years of the bill's passage and enactment.
Another 2019 bill, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., calls for establishing offices in the Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security that would "analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity."
Since the Jan. 6 riot, lawmakers in Washington have once again been considering a domestic terrorism bill, leading civil rights groups to push back, claiming that federal authorities already have the tools they need to stop criminals without giving them additional powers.
At the same time, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have been blocking accounts that they say have posted inflammatory comments, including those of former President Donald Trump.
Gabbard called upon Biden and lawmakers from both parties not to allow measures that would infringe upon Americans' rights in the name of law enforcement.
"President Biden, I call upon you & all of Congress from both parties to denounce efforts by Brennan & others to take away our civil liberties endowed to us by our Creator & guaranteed in our Constitution. If you don't stand up to them now, then our country will be in great peril," she said.