The Biden administration has weaponized taxpayer-funded anti-terrorism grants to “destroy” conservatives, including Christians and “highly reputable conservative organizations” such as The Heritage Foundation, the Media Research Center contends in a new report.
The report, titled “Exposed,” says that a grant program run by the Department of Homeland Security, reorganized under President Joe Biden to focus on funding left-wing organizations, is part of a concerted effort “to make America into a one-party system.”
In one “radical” example, the report says, Ohio’s University of Dayton used a DHS grant of $352,109 to target conservative organizations as part of a “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization,” including The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the National Rifle Association, and the Republican National Committee. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
Brent Bozell III, founder and president of the Media Research Center, describes the report as uncovering documents showing that “the government is colluding with left-wing activists, academics, and state and local officials in an active effort to target some of the most prestigious conservatives and prominent political, religious, and media groups in the country, linking them directly to Nazis and terrorists.”
Fox News, one of the conservative organizations found to be targeted by the Biden administration grants, broke the news on the MRC’s findings Thursday.
The DHS grants are supposed to provide funding for local jurisdictions to combat “all forms of terrorism and targeted violence,” according to a copy of the executive summary of “Exposed,” obtained by The Daily Signal, but:
Instead of focusing on preventing actual violence and terrorism, the program is now being used to target the entire spectrum of the political right and Christians through ‘media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives’ and other so-called training seminars as part of a coordinated effort to make America into a one-party system.
A product of the Media Research Center’s Free Speech America project, “Exposed” and related documents were sent Monday to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of a House select panel on government weaponization, with a request for criminal prosecution.
The Obama administration initiated the grant program in the Department of Homeland Security, according to the report, and the Trump administration refocused it as part of a toolbox to prevent terrorism.
DHS has awarded 80 grants so far under Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a Biden appointee who called the program a “high priority” in an internal memo that MRC Free Speech America says it obtained exclusively.
The “anti-American program,” called the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program, has cost taxpayers nearly $40 million, the report says. The 80 grants awarded range from $85,000 to $1.19 million.
Among the report’s findings:
- The University of Dayton’s PREVENTS-OH program established by the grant promised to “draw on the expertise of the University of Dayton faculty” to fight “domestic violence extremism and hate movements.” (The acronym stands for Preventing Radicalization to Extremist Violence through Education, Network-Building and Training in Southwest Ohio.)
But the chart depicting “The Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization” used by the university in a training seminar “equates mainstream groups with militant neo-Nazis,” the report says. It says those organizations include the Christian Broadcasting Network, Turning Point USA, PragerU, Breitbart News, and the American Conservative Union Foundation, as well as Heritage, Fox News, the National Rifle Association, and the Republican National Committee.
The seminar also compared former President Donald Trump to the late Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, who oversaw genocide, and it suggested that another prominent Republican politician, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, might want to start “a second Holocaust.”
The program’s seminars (including one headlined by a DHS agent, the report says) feature lectures by University of Cincinnati research fellow Michael Loadenthal, a self-identified member of the violent extremist group Antifa, whose Twitter feed “is rife with posts celebrating acts of left-wing violence (often against police officers).”
Loadenthal, the report says, used the University of Dayton’s program “to explain in detail how to create dummy accounts on free speech social media platforms like Telegram, Gab, and Rumble in order to ‘destabilize’ political movements.”
“A lot of things we’re doing are illegal,” Loadenthal said in one lecture, according to the report. “A lot of it involves breaking the law.”
- The Obama administration established the grant office in 2011 under a 12-page plan titled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” The Trump administration, beginning in 2017, revamped it as the Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention.
On the campaign trail in 2020, Biden pledged to disband the office, but he and Mayorkas “appear to have hijacked it for their own political agenda” by awarding grants to “far-left projects.”
- The median amount of the 80 grants made during the Biden administration is $442,000. A total of 52% of grants have gone to public institutions such as universities and county governments, and 48% have gone to private organizations such as the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Out Boulder County and the University of Dayton.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox News Digital that its grant to the University of Dayton was unrelated to the seminar in question and said the agency doesn’t support any form of discrimination, Fox reported Thursday.
The University of Dayton also told Fox that the seminar wasn’t connected with the Biden administration’s grant program. Fox reported that a university spokesman said, in part:
The speakers at the programs referred to in the Media Research Center’s report are from the University of Dayton Human Rights Center’s Social Practice of Human Rights Conference in the fall of 2021, which had no affiliation with and predates PREVENTS-OH. The University of Dayton Human Rights Center received its PREVENTS-OH grant in the fall of 2022 and, to date, its community awareness events and dialogues have focused on all forms of domestic terrorism, targeted violence, and extremism.
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts and the leaders of other conservative organizations named as targets in the Media Research Center’s report learned of the findings in a letter dated Friday from Daisy Judge, MRC’s external affairs manager. MRC, founded in 1987, says the “Exposed” report, written by Luis Cornelio and Tim Kilcullen, is the result of investigative efforts under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Department of Homeland Security “resisted producing documents pursuant to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to date,” according to the executive summary. But, it says, “MRC Free Speech America has acquired scores of documents directly from DHS grant recipients and other related organizations revealing the true and nefarious nature of the Biden administration’s objectives.”
Jordan is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee as well as of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which is conducting hearings on what it considers questionable activities by the Biden administration.
The evidence warrants “criminal prosecution,” Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, wrote in a letter to Jordan, a copy of which also was obtained by The Daily Signal.
The Media Research Center has uncovered disturbing documentation that proves that the government is colluding with left-wing activists, academics, and state and local officials in an active effort to target some of the most prestigious conservatives and prominent political, religious, and media groups in the country, linking them directly to Nazis and terrorists. Others have recently released documents suggesting this intent, but we have evidence of actual wrongdoing. …
Joe Biden’s efforts to turn America’s brave republic into a despotic regime need to be stopped. The very viability of representational democracies is at stake. The American people need to know that those who are abusing their positions in the federal government will be held accountable for this criminal behavior.
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