November 30, 2021

More Arrests Made in Capitol Attack; FBI Mum on Whether Trump Is Being Investigated | 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

Biden to Return Diverted Border Wall Money, Spend Down Rest | Voice of America

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

Former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall project would lose much of its funding as well as the fast-track status...

Global War on Ransomware? Hurdles Hinder US Response | Voice of America

June 6, 2021

June 6, 2021

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – Foreign keyboard criminals with scant fear of repercussions have paralyzed U.S. schools and hospitals, leaked highly sensitive...

US Snatches Back Ransom from Colonial Pipeline Hackers | Voice of America

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. law enforcement officials say they have hit back at the Russian-based criminal network that caused gas pipelines...

UN General Assembly to Vote 5 Countries to Security Council  | Voice of America

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

NEW YORK – The U.N. General Assembly will vote Friday to give rotating seats on the powerful 15-nation Security Council...

Western Nations Condemn Belarus at UN Security Council 

November 12, 2021

November 12, 2021

NEW YORK —  The United States and European members of the U.N. Security Council condemned Belarus on Thursday for what...

Questions Linger About Jan. 6 Capitol Riot | Voice of America

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – On the last Friday in May, a vote to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6...

Temperature Records Fall as Heat Wave Builds in Northwest US | Voice of America

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON – Intense. Prolonged. Record-breaking. Unprecedented. Dangerous. That’s how the National Weather Service described the heat wave hitting the...

Study: Half of US Cosmetics Contain Toxic Chemicals | Voice of America

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada are awash with a toxic industrial compound associated...

Ukrainian Member of Cybercrime Gang Sentenced in US | Voice of America

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON – A Ukrainian hacker was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a notorious cybercrime group...

China, US Diplomats Clash Over Human Rights, Pandemic Origin | Voice of America

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

BEIJING – Top U.S. and Chinese diplomats appear to have had another sharply worded exchange, with Beijing saying it told...

US Senate Republicans Set to Block Capitol Riot Inquiry Panel | Voice of America

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Republicans in the U.S. Senate are expected Thursday to block legislation calling for the creation of a panel to investigate...

Pro-Palestinian Rally in Washington Seeks End to US Aid to Israel | Voice of America

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – More than 1,000 people rallied Saturday in Washington in support of Palestinians and called for an end to...

Biden Touts US COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign | Voice of America

June 18, 2021

June 18, 2021

President Joe Biden announced Friday that 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the United States since he...

Federal Probe: Protest Last Summer Not Broken Up Due to Trump Photo Op | Voice of America

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – An internal investigation has determined that the decision to forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area in...

Democracy Imperiled Biden Warns, as He Pays Tribute to Nation’s War Dead | Voice of America

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – “Democracy itself is in peril – here at home and around the world,” U.S. President Joe Biden...