Chairwoman Maloney’s Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing on the Role of Violent Militias in Right-Wing Extremism

May 26, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2021)—Below is Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, for today’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing examining the role of militia groups in the current rise of violent right-wing extremism.

 

Opening Statement

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

“Confronting Violent White Supremacy (Part V):  Examining the Rise of Militia Extremism”

May 26, 2021

 

Thank you Chairman Raskin for your leadership in bringing this hearing together.

 

As members of Congress, and as Americans, we cannot afford to ignore the rising threat of militia extremism.  The events of January 6th clearly demonstrated the danger that domestic violent extremism poses to our democracy.

 

America cannot afford to repeat the events of that day ever again.  So we need to be clear and honest about the connections between militia extremism, white supremacist domestic violent extremism, and the events of January 6th.

 

On that day, the whole world watched on T.V. as extremists in military and police gear—some carrying weapons—broke into the Capitol and tried to disrupt the peaceful transition of power.

 

Some of these insurrectionists were soldiers and police officers, and many others were militia members with the Oath Keepers and other anti-government gangs.

 

While some militia groups publicly disavow racism, the history of the militia movement is deeply intertwined with white supremacy, and fast-growing militia groups that are operating today are aligned with white supremacist extremists.

 

Days after the Capitol insurrection, the FBI, DHS, and the National Counterterrorism Center issued a joint warning about an increase in hateful, racist rhetoric by groups like the Three Percenters.

 

The report warned that the gathering of domestic violent extremists on January 6th would likely foster connections between radical groups and increase the, quote, “willingness, capability, and motivation” of those groups to attack our government.

 

In other words, January 6th was not just a dangerous attack on our democracy; it was a massive recruiting event for these extremist groups who will continue to use it to recruit others to their cause.

 

There is no room for excuses or ignoring this problem any further.

 

We need an honest assessment of the extent of this problem, which is hiding in plain sight.

 

Failure to address this form of extremism will doom us to repeat the destruction of January 6th.

 

That is why I am calling on the Senate to pass the January 6th Commission bill that the House has already passed.  Like the 9-11 Commission, it will help us to understand what happened, and more important, it will help us prevent what happened on January 6th from ever happening again.

 

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses, and I yield back.

 

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117th Congress