World FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol Insurrection
Tucker Carlson Says No White Supremacy at Riot—An Officer Says He Was Called Racial Slurs
The reactionary Fox News host has said there was no white supremacy during the violence on January 6 despite an officer saying police were beaten with Confederate flags while protecting the Capitol.The reactionary Fox News host responded to a clip of Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland who promised to "supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol," as he seeks confirmation for his appointment next week.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had providedto D.C.-area law enforcement through an email the night before; an undated verbal briefing at a multi-agency command post set up by the bureau’s Washington Field Office; and through a post on a shared law-enforcement information network.
First Capitol Riot Hearing Only Raised More Questions About Jan. 6
Nearly seven weeks after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the people tasked with protecting the building on Jan. 6 testified for the first time about the failures that allowed a pro-Trump mob to overrun the seat of American government in an unprecedented disruption of democracy. But nearly every answer they gave about what happened that day just raised more questions. Over the course of four hours, the former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, and the former security heads of the House and Senate, largely pointed the finger at each other—or blamed others not present at the hearing—and, above all, minimized their own failures.
Norfolk agents “made the judgment to get the information, in three different ways, to their partners, even though they didn’t know if it would be accurate,” Wray testified. The Norfolk memo from Jan. 5 remains undisclosed, but reportedly compiled a social-media thread involving exhortations that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent.”
, the former chiefs of Capitol security and the current chief of the Metropolitan Police Department the briefings were woefully inadequate. Robert Contee, the head of the D.C. police, said he only saw the email and expressed frustration that the FBI did not provide so much as a phone call. Steven Sund, who resigned as Capitol Police chief after the insurrection, testified that he only learned the police received the FBI report slightly before last week’s hearing.
Fact Check: Was Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick Killed By Rioters?
After Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died the day following the January 6 Capitol riot, differing information has emerged in reports and online surrounding the cause of his death.Sicknick, 42, joined the Capitol police in 2008. He was an Air Force veteran who served in the New Jersey Air National Guard before becoming a police officer.
The FBI has also provided unclear and contradictory information about what it knew ahead of Jan. 6. The head of the Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, said two days after the attack that “there was no indication” of a threat to the Capitoland claiming the FBI warned local law enforcement about potentially violent individuals.
Wray did not resolve concerns about the robustness of the FBI warning. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), thundered at Wray for not “sound[ing] the alarm in some more visible and ringing way.”
But Wray sought to get the FBI out from under the bus as recriminations over the Capitol insurrection coalesce. Wray suggested that the representatives of local law enforcement were responsible for not sufficiently alerting their superiors about the nebulous FBI warning. “Everyone’s supposed to go back and pass it up their chain,” Wray said.
Capitol Police chief: Intelligence suggests militias aim to 'blow up' building when Biden addresses Congress
There is new intelligence suggesting militia groups have expressed a desire to "blow up" the Capitol building and "kill as many members as possible" on the day President Biden addresses Congress, U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed Thursday during a House hearing regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection."We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified," Pittman said before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.
Video: FBI chief Chris Wray accuses Capitol attackers of domestic terrorism (Reuters)
Simultaneously, Wray neither emphasized the reliability of the Norfolk warning—setting low expectations for when it emerges in public—nor claimed any of the other FBI’s field offices had generated their own warnings. Yet President Trump and elected Republicans for weeks stoked the lie that President Biden and the Democrats stole the election; Trump called for his supporters to gather for a “wild” march on the Capitol; and for days ahead of the rally, pro-Trump online fora.
Wray instead called the Norfolk warning “raw” and lamented the difficulty of determining what social-media borne threats are more than bluster. He shot back that the FBI had issued generic warnings about domestic extremism before, during and after the election. And like a senior Justice Department official last week, he suggested he wasthat civil libertarians have warned against.
Pennsylvania ranks first in Capitol riot-related arrests: report
Pennsylvania, lifeblood of the American Revolution, has so far seen the most arrests related to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection compared to any other state, according to a new analysis by Philadelphia Magazine. The Justice Department so far has charged at least 26 Pennsylvanians in connection to the Jan. 6 event in Washington, D.C., that temporarily interrupted Congress’ certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory, the magazine reported after reviewing court documents, news reports and data.
After praising the investigations the FBI has conducted under existing powers, which have now resulted in over 270 people arrested, Wray said, “certainly you would be hard pressed to find any FBI director who wouldn’t welcome more tools in the toolbox.” He said there were now around 2,000 open investigations into domestic terrorism.
But Wray also provided political and euphemistic answers that pointed to the fault lines of the post-Jan. 6 debate over terrorism committed by white Americans with powerful political champions. He dodged a question over whether a rally called by Trump and for the purpose of overturning the election in his favor featured “Trump supporters.” He said instead that the insurrections included “militia violent extremists” and “in some instances ‘racially motivated violent extremists,’ specifically advocates of the superiority of the white race.” The FBI has comethat obscures the source of the “racially motivated” violence and falsely suggests there is an equivalent threat of violence targeting whites.
Republicans on the committee demonstrated similar false equivalence. The ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), worried aloud about “ever-present left wing threats,” which the Department of Homeland Security under Trumpcompared to white supremacist violence. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who pressured Georgia election officials to throw out valid ballots, wondered if it would have “been easy for international terrorists” to infiltrate the Capitol mob.
Wray provided little information about key questions in the Capitol investigation, including about how Capitol Policeman Brian Sicknick died. But he also said that additional charges, particularly “some of the more advanced charges,” were forthcoming against insurrectionists. “A large and growing number of the people we’ve arrested so far in connection with the 6th are what we’d call militia violent extremism,” Wray told senators, and said that there were indications of a “planned and coordinated” assault from some right-wing groups in attendance.
On Wednesday, a different Senate panel will hear the first Jan. 6 testimony from officials at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as from Jill Sanborn, Wray’s counterterrorism chief.
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Capitol rioter accused of assaulting cops with chemical spray served as Marine, to remain jailed before trial .
A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that a former Marine accused of dousing at least 15 police officers with a chemical spray outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and bragging about it later on video will remain in custody, according to a report. Daniel Ray Caldwell, 49, of The Colony, Texas, will stay behind bars until his trial in Washington, D.C., The Dallas Morning News reported. After hearing testimony during several detention hearings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson decided no conditions of release would "reasonably assure the safety" of the community.