House Probes FBI’s Reported Role In Brazil’s Crackdown On Critics
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is demanding answers from the FBI on reports the bureau contacted Americans on behalf of the Brazilian government.

Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday seeking answers on reports out of Brazil that suggest the FBI may have played a part in the Brazilian government’s crackdown on critics and journalists. The chairman gave the FBI a deadline of 5 p.m. on June 4.

“In Brazil, news outlets have recently reported that the FBI, on behalf of the Brazilian government, reached out to two U.S. residents, including a journalist targeted in some of the censorship orders by Brazilian courts,” says Jordan’s letter, obtained by The Daily Wire. The Ohio Republican then went on to point out the bureau’s recent history of working with the Ukrainian intelligence community to flag the social media accounts of U.S. citizens.

“The FBI’s recent outreach raises concerns about whether the FBI is again helping to facilitate a foreign government’s censorship efforts. Free speech, including free speech on digital platforms, is a fundamental and necessary part of democratic and just societies,” Jordan continued.

Brazil’s Supreme Court has launched an investigation into speech alleged to be hateful or subversive to law and order, targeting the social media critics of the government and others, including former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

“[T]o understand the nature and extent of the FBI’s interactions with the Brazilian government regarding its censorship efforts and to assist the Committee in its oversight,” Jordan wrote, the Judiciary Committee is requesting the FBI turn over a number of documents and communications related to the bureau’s reported dealings with the Brazilian government.

Wealthy tech entrepreneur Elon Musk was wrapped up in the court’s investigation after he said that his platform, X, was being threatened with fines and his employees threatened with jail time unless they comply with court orders to take down some accounts. Musk, a self-proclaimed supporter of free speech, has called the court orders illegal and threatened to release all of X’s communications with the court for the Brazilian public to see.

Last month, Musk promised to defy the court’s orders once X employees were in a “safe place.” The federal Supreme Court justice behind the censorship purge, Alexandre de Moraes, then swept Musk into the investigation.


“The flagrant conduct of obstruction of Brazilian Justice, incitement to crime, public threat of disobedience to court orders and future lack of cooperation by the platform are facts that disrespect Brazil’s sovereignty and reinforce the connection of the intentional criminal instrumentalization of the activities of the former Twitter,” de Moraes wrote in a court order.

The FBI did not immediately respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.

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