Jul 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

SPLC says it's working with Jan. 6 committee to track Trump's ties to extremism

Photo of Donald Trump speaking into a microphone at an outdoor rally
Former President Trump gives remarks during a Save America rally in Mendon, Illinois on June 25, 2022. Photo: Michael B. Thomas via Getty Images

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a legal advocacy organization that tracks hate and extremism, is working with the House Jan. 6 select committee to document extremist groups' involvement in the insurrection.

Driving the news: The organization's testimony and research have helped track "coordination between Trump, his allies and two extremist groups we’ve tracked for years," Michael Lieberman, a senior policy counsel at the SPLC, said in a statement to Politico.

  • The center submitted a report on the Proud Boys to the committee in April, calling their participation in the insurrection "an attempt to overthrow democracy and liberal pluralism in favor of an authoritarian political order."

Why it matters: The SPLC's materials are "part of under-the-radar help investigators have received from outside groups and experts with relevant knowledge," Politico writes.

  • The committee plans to hold a hearing on Trump's links to extremism.

The big picture: In a March report, the SPLC noted that the number of hate and anti-government extremist groups declined for the third year in a row in 2021 — even as their ideologies gained traction and entered the mainstream.

  • Buoyed by the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and far-right militias have found ways to leave the fringes and infiltrate the highest levels of government, the SPLC said.
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