- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2020

A top U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told lawmakers Friday that an internal investigation has been opened in the agency’s politicization of intelligence relating to Antifa.

Joseph B. Maher, the acting head of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, or I&A, said its handling of the left-wing activist movement is under review by the department’s inspector general.

The probe is the result of Brian Murphy, Mr. Maher’s immediate predecessor, instructing DHS analysts to change the language in intelligence reports to blame Antifa for violence in Portland, Oregon.

In a July 25 email to DHS intelligence analysts, Mr. Murphy said to replace instances of “violent opportunists” in their reports about Portland with the phrase “violent Antifa anarchists inspired.”

Mr. Murphy was subsequently demoted and replaced by Mr. Maher, who disclosed the probe’s existence while appearing under subpoena before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The email instructed intelligence professionals to characterize the activities of certain individuals in a certain way. So that, my understanding, is under review,” Mr. Maher told committee members.

“The word ‘politicization,’ as it’s understood in the intelligence community, involves trying to pre-determine how an intelligence report will be written rather than based on the reasonable beliefs of the intelligence professionals that are gathering and analyzing the situation,” Mr. Maher said. “And so my understanding is that the instruction went out and that was a cause for concerns.”

The DHS inspector general’s office did not immediately respond to a message concerning Mr. Maher’s testimony.

Mr. Murphy filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint after he was removed from atop I&A, which is one of 17 federal agencies and offices that makes up the U.S. intelligence community.

In his complaint, Mr. Murphy alleged DHS leadership instructed him to “modify intelligence assessments to ensure they matched up with the public comments by President Trump” about Antifa.

The intelligence committee had begun investigating the federal government’s response to recent protests in Portland in early August, and it expanded its probe after Mr. Murphy alleged retaliation.

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