May 25, 2022

FBI Mum on Trump Investigation as More Arrests Made in US Capitol Attack | Voice of America

Nearly 500 supporters of former President Donald Trump have now been charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the number of arrests is growing, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday, while rejecting charges by Democratic lawmakers that the FBI failed to see the attack coming.

At the same time, Wray declined to say whether the FBI was investigating Trump and his associates for allegedly inciting the rioters to storm the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election.

Early this year, Trump was impeached for a second time. In this case, he was charged with inciting insurrection for delivering a fiery speech to supporters, urging them to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” to block Biden’s election.

Although the Senate acquitted Trump on February 13, Democrats have long called for the Department of Justice to investigate Trump’s conduct for possible criminal violations.

In his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee since the attack, Wray condemned the January 6 riot as an act of domestic terrorism but refused to term it an “insurrection,” as many Democrats have. Wray made similar comments during a March appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol in Washington…
FILE – U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.

More arrests Thursday

Nearly 800 Trump fans stormed the Capitol on January 6, leading to the deaths of five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and many injuries.

Wray said the number of arrests related to the riot was “sure” to grow.

Indeed, late in the day, the Justice Department announced that six California men – four of whom identify as members of the right-wing Three Percenters militia – were arrested on accusations related to the Capitol breach.

The men were charged with federal offenses including conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding and unlawful entry on a restricted building or ground. One was also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon.

Wray said that “almost none” of those arrested so far were previously under investigation by the FBI. He dismissed suggestions that the FBI had failed to prevent them from traveling to Washington.

The majority of the rioters arrested so far face trespassing and other minor charges.

But more than three dozen members of two far-right groups — the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys — have been charged with conspiracy and other crimes. Wray said the FBI was in the midst of bringing more serious charges.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Wray said. “There is a lot more to come, and I’d expect to see more charges, some more serious charges.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during a U.S.House Judiciary Committee about political…
FILE – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during a meeting in Washington, June 24, 2020.

Threat missed, or underestimated?

Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, slammed the FBI for failing to anticipate the bloody and hourslong attack on the Capitol. He said “the attack was planned in public view,” with Trump supporters openly sharing maps of the Capitol tunnels online and calling for “breaking” into the Capitol.

“It is hard to tell whether FBI headquarters merely missed the evidence, or whether the bureau saw the intelligence, underestimated the threat and simply failed to act,” Nadler said.

At issue was a January 5 intelligence report by the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia, office, which warned that pro-Trump extremists were preparing to travel to Washington and engage in violence.

Wray said that the report was based on raw, unverified intelligence but that the bureau had found it “concerning” enough that it quickly shared it with U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies.

“The most important thing I’d say is we did not dismiss the Norfolk situational information report,” Wray said. “Quite the contrary, often when we get online chatter or raw information, we take time, which would be our preference, to run it and figure out whether it’s real or not.”

US Senate Committees Highlight Intelligence, Security Failures in Capitol Attack 

January 6 assault disrupted certification of presidential election result     

Wray’s testimony came days after a bipartisan Senate report on the Capitol attack found that an intelligence breakdown contributed to the violent breach. Despite issuing more than a dozen reports about violent extremism throughout 2020, neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security issued “a threat assessment warning of potential violence targeting the Capitol on January 6,” according to the Senate report.

Given its bipartisan nature, the report did not address the root causes of the riot, which Democrats have squarely blamed on Trump’s rhetoric about a stolen election following his electoral loss.

Wray said he was “not aware” of any investigation specifically examining the role Trump rhetoric played in the lead-up to the violence at the Capitol and how Trump and other officials responded during the riot.

Pressed by Democratic Representative Steve Cohen about whether the FBI was investigating the former president’s activities on the day of the riot, Wray said, “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to be discussing whether or not we’re … investigating specific individuals.”

in U.S.
Related Posts

US Attorney General Warns Ransomware ‘Getting Worse and Worse’ | Voice of America

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned Wednesday that ransom-motivated cyberattacks are “getting worse and worse,” echoing other top Biden administration...

Biden Hosts Naturalization Ceremony for New Americans  | Voice of America

July 3, 2021

July 3, 2021

Ahead of U.S. Independence Day on July 4th, President Joe Biden hosted a naturalization ceremony for new Americans at the...

‘I’ll Likely Never See Eye to Eye with Trump on Jan. 6’, Pence Says | Voice of America

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Former Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he wasn’t sure that he and former President...

Are UFOs a Threat? Congress Awaits Pentagon Report

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Videos of Navy pilots pursuing flying objects with amazing capabilities have struck a nerve in Washington. Matt Dibble looks into...

G-7 Communique Wide-Ranging, But Critics Find Shortcomings    | Voice of America

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

BRUSSELS – U.S. President Joe Biden has declared that the G-7 summit was an “extraordinarily collaborative and productive meeting” that...

Lochte Fails to Advance in 200 Free Prelims at US Trials | Voice of America

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

OMAHA, NEB. – Olympic champion Ryan Lochte failed to advance from the preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle on Monday, his...

US ‘Looks Forward’ to Trade Talks with Taiwan Amid China’s Objection | Voice of America

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

The United States said it looks forward to this week’s trade talks with Taiwan as the two economies continue to...

Biden, Putin Brace for Possible Fight Over Ransomware | Voice of America

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – As President Joe Biden prepares for his first meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, the...

As Homicides Surge, Biden to Press for More Gun Control Action | Voice of America

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – As summer arrives, gun violence in major U.S. cities shows no signs of letting up, prompting the administration...

US Will Likely Miss July 4 COVID Vaccination Goal of 70% | Voice of America

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – The United States is likely to miss President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of U.S. adults partially...

Biden Consoles Families of Florida Condo Collapse Victims | Voice of America

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were in Surfside, Florida, on Thursday, where search and rescue teams...

Taliban Warn Neighbors Against Hosting US Bases for Military Actions inside Afghanistan  | Voice of America

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD – The Taliban called on Afghanistan’s neighbors Wednesday not to allow the United States to use their territory or...

Pompeo Rekindles Debate About US Response to Iran’s Hosting of Al-Qaida | Voice of America

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made more detailed allegations about Iran’s secretive relationship with al-Qaida, rekindling a...

VP Harris Heads South to Focus on Root Causes of Migration to US

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Guatemala and Mexico this week on a trip that spotlights migration issues...

US Drops Sanctions on Former Iranian Officials; Step Called Routine | Voice of America

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

The United States said Thursday it had removed sanctions on three former Iranian officials and two companies that previously traded...