Republicans plan to make 'life as difficult as possible' for the FBI when they are back in control: report
Rep. Matt Gaetz / Shutterstock.

Republicans may not be able to defund the FBI as punishment for searching Mar-a-Lago, but they do intend to exact some revenge on the agency's leadership.

GOP lawmakers have threatened a variety of investigations and oversight hearings, but Republicans themselves are split on how to claw back the FBI's reach and funding, although few have publicly agreed with calls from Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene to defund the law enforcement agency, reported Politico.

"As Gaetz’s House colleagues acknowledge, they don’t plan to make good on conservatives’ pro-Trump calls to 'defund the FBI' after its Mar-a-Lago search," the website reported. "Some, however, are planning to make the agency’s life as difficult as possible next year if they win back the majority."

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee unsuccessfully tried in recent hearings to force the Biden administration to turn over information related to a conspiracy theory about the FBI's alleged involvement in staging the Jan. 6 insurrection, and they intend to challenge FBI leaders on renewing the Section 702 surveillance program that's meant to target foreign nationals but sometimes inadvertently picks up communications by Americans.

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“We’ve got some oversight to catch up on,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who blamed the FBI for having “strained” its relationship with House Republicans “by politicizing everything.”

Republicans also intend to challenge FBI leadership on tracking threats against school officials, which GOP lawmakers say targets conservative parents, and inject conspiracy theories into the mainstream.

“Somebody said ... you want to defund the FBI," said Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC). "Nothing could be further from the truth. But it needs to be organized so that it returns to its robust strength and fortitude as a law enforcement agency."

Bishop has proposed undercutting the bureau's senior leadership and placing the FBI under the supervision of the 94 U.S. attorneys’ districts across the country.

“I think we ought to de-emphasize the sort of collection of power on the 7th floor of the FBI in the Washington field office and at Main Justice,” Bishop said.