What Is Cuccinelli’s Role in Defining Extremism?

Photo credit: Forbes

By Peter Galuszka

Allegations that the Wolverine Watchmen, a far right extremist group based in Michigan, discussed kidnapping Gov. Ralph Northam draw questions about the role another Virginia politician has played in defining extremist threats.

Kenneth Cuccinelli a former Republican attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate, has been accused of helping delay a report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that designated white supremacist groups as the biggest domestic threat the country faces.

That apparently is at odds with President Donald Trump’s view that threats by the so-called “Antifa” leftist groups are the main worry.

Cuccinelli is currently acting deputy to Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf. Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported that Cuccinelli helped block an assessment by former Homeland Security intelligence chief Brian Murphy that white supremacists are the larger threat.

According to a recent Times report: “Brian Murphy, who was demoted from his post as the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence chief in August, said last month in a whistle-blower complaint that Mr. Wolf and his deputy, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, blocked the release of the assessment because of how it would “reflect upon President Trump.””

Cuccinelli has been accused of trying to block or dilute any threat assessments that run contrary to Trump’s public (or Tweeted) statements. After a whistle blower probe, the final Homeland Security was released in early October stating that violent white supremacy groups were “the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland.”

Just this week, evidence of such a threat came out at a hearing in Michigan related to the charges against 13 men for plotting to kidnap and perhaps kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen E. Whitmer or perhaps provoke violence designed to instigate a civil war. During the hearing an FBI agent testified that his agency also learned that the group discussed kidnapping Northam because of his policies in containing the coronavirus pandemic. Both Whitmer and Northam are Democrats.

There have been widespread fears that white supremacy groups or unltranationalists will show up at polls Nov. 3 wearing tactical combat vests and carrying high-powered rifles.

Some members of the “Wolverines” are said to have shown up carrying weapons in Michigan’s State Capitol. They apparently did so legally because the state has an open carry law.

So does Virginia where similar armed groups have appeared at gun rights rallies and a protest of Northam’s anti-virus policies.

According to The Washington Post, Democrats have reacted to news of the plot against Northam with concern about armed right-wing groups, while Republicans have dismissed that fear, saying that the “Antifa,” a loose coalition of left-leaning protestors, has been responsible for widespread violence at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country.

Cuccinelli’s role is curious because he had a reputation for right-wing activity as attorney general. For instance, he led a months’ long legal fight against Michael Mann, a former University of Virginia professor, for his views that climate change is caused by human activity, something Cuccinelli doesn’t agree with. He also was noted for his anti-gay views and opposition to legal abortion.

Cuccinelli’s association with the Trump administration has also been controversial. According to Wikiepedia: “His appointment as Acting (U.S. Citizenship Customs Immigration Services) Director was ruled unlawful by U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss on March 1, 2020, who found it to be in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. On August 14, 2020, the Government Accountability Office ruled his appointment as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary illegal as well.

There are also questions about his role at Homeland Security. Cuccinelli was defeated for governor by Terry McAuliffe in 2013.

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12 responses to “What Is Cuccinelli’s Role in Defining Extremism?

  1. Right-wing supremacists are indeed a danger to this country, and a credible national threat assessments must acknowledge that reality. Whether they are the leading threat is a different question.

    Let us not forget that left-wing anarchists are murderous, too. (https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bronsonstocking/2020/10/10/trump-supporter-killed-after-shooting-at-patriot-rally-in-denver-n2577831)

    There is a huge asymmetry at work here. Republicans and conservatives totally disown white supremacists and right-wing radicals. Totally. But liberals and progressives and mainstream media are in denial about left-wing radicals. For a long time, they could barely bring themselves to admit that such a thing as Antifa even existed, and they still underplay the danger today.

    • Whatever might have been in or not in some internal bureaucratic memo, probably ignored anyway, federal law enforcement was all over those idiots in Michigan. Clearly nobody ignored that particular threat. In fact, the federal undercover agent was so deep into it that entrapment will be claimed in defense. So my reaction to the paperwork trail story is, who cares? Not me.

      The poll intimidation concern works both ways, too:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Black_Panther_Party_voter_intimidation_case

    • Best that I can discern, Democrats today treat felons and left wing extremists as a key constituent groups, a significant part of the Democratic Party’s base of support.

    • Violent extremists should be of concern no matter what banner they hold. Will Mr. Galuszka be writing about this guy?

      Check out Colorado Democratic Party activist, Kristopher Jacks. This is a scary dude. The concluding statement on the video is:

      “They underestimate how many people on the left are organized, trained, armed and ready to go.”

      Washington Times:

      “Mr. Jacks was caught on hidden-camera video by Project Veritas talking about using violence for political ends, pressuring a Biden administration to do the left’s bidding by occupying the White House, and musing about a hypothetical situation involving killing “three or four” billionaires, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.”

      https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/oct/14/pro-antifa-colorado-democratic-party-figure-talks-/

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Where is the Democrats concern for 131 days of rioting and violence by ANTIFA/BLM/PROUD BOYS in Portland, Oregon? Why is twitter journalist Andy Ngo the only honest reporter on this story? Why is the arrest of 10 ANTIFA members in Richmond on August 17th, charged with unlawful assembly, resisting arrest, vandalism, and inciting a riot, back page news? When will Stoney and Northam take a serious stand against far left wing domestic terror threats? There are questions about Stoney and Northam’s ability to provide effective leadership. Stoney is currently embroiled in the Monument Avenue scandal. Northam has more scandals than I care to remember.

    • Baconator with extra cheese

      Antifa? That’s a myth and just an idea according to Stoney, Northam, Herring, Nadler, Biden, Harris… etc…
      It’s all about the white nationalists…
      Even the RVA Antifa kids openly laughed at Stoney and said they caused the damage in Richmond on Twitter.

  3. Hmm, Cuccinelli’s role in extremism? Good question. Frick not Frack, maybe?

  4. Steve, yes the feds were on the job but I wouldn’t be too dismissive of internal infighting. Trump’s style is “you’re fired”
    Reality show.
    Never heard of the Colorado guy.

    • Mr. Galuszka – You haven’t heard of the Colorado guy because you are out of touch with about half of America.

      Your writing would be much better informed if you would at least acquaint yourself with a broader range of input. For example, you recently wrote about gun sales. You can’t be informed about what’s happening in that realm by exclusively listening to people who don’t know the difference between bullets and ammo. (Yes, I listened to the podcast you linked to)

      If you are interested in what’s currently driving gun sales, you should check out NSSF – the trade association for the firearm industry. They often conduct surveys as was just done recently.

      “NSSF surveys revealed that 58 percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40 percent of first-time gun purchasers. Retailers noted that they are seeing a 95 percent increase in firearm sales and a 139 percent increase in ammunition sales over the same period in 2019.”

      https://www.nssf.org/first-time-gun-buyers-grow-to-nearly-5-million-in-2020/

      It’s not “right wingers” that are fueling the increase in firearm sales. The increase is driven largely by first-time buyers who are genuinely concerned about recent violence and talk about defunding law enforcement. Trump isn’t scaring them. People like you are.

  5. There are plenty of dangerous white supremacist groups in the US. Anybody who remembers the Oklahoma City bombing knows that (although I see McVeigh as more of an anarchist or anti-government terrorist than a white supremacist). I just don’t think the “13 stooges” in Michigan were a particularly dangerous group. But there are dangerous groups out there. No doubt about it.

  6. “the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland.”
    Sounds like over-the-top wording with an agenda behind it. If the whole problem is our fellow Americans, not sure we need a Div of Homeland Security since FBI can handle internal threats.

  7. Pingback: "fbi reform" – Google News: What Is Cuccinelli's Role in Defining Extremism? – Bacon's Rebellion | FBI Reform - fbireform.org

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