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Monday, 14 June 2021

No evidence Capitol rioters were antifa -FBI's Wray

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No evidence Capitol rioters were antifa -FBI's Wray
No evidence Capitol rioters were antifa -FBI's Wray

FBI Director Chris Wray on Tuesday told lawmakers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation views the actions of the rioters on the Jan.

6 attack as "domestic terrorism," and debunked conspiracy theories that claim leftist extremists disguised themselves as supporters of former President Donald Trump to storm the U.S. Capitol.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

SENATOR DICK DURBIN: "Do you have any evidence that the Capitol attack was organized by 'fake' Trump protesters?" FBI DIRECTOR CHRIS WRAY: "We have not seen evidence of that at this stage, certainly.

In testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray debunked conspiracy theories promoted by right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump, telling lawmakers that there was no evidence that leftist extremists disguised themselves as Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol.

WRAY: "We have not to date seen any evidence of any anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to 'antifa' in connection with the 6th.

That doesn't mean we're not looking and we'll continue to look, but at the moment, we have not seen that." Wray also said the FBI views the actions of the rioters on Jan.

6 as "domestic terrorism" and vowed to hold them accountable.

WRAY: "That attack, that siege was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and it's behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism." Tuesday was Wray's first testimony in Congress since the Jan.

6 attack that left five people dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Wray said his death was still under investigation and would not divulge any information about it.

SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY: "But you have determined the cause of death?" WRAY: "I did not say that.

We're not at a point where we can disclose or confirm a cause of death." Wray said the Justice Department has charged more than 300 people with crimes related to the siege, ranging from conspiracy to attacking police and obstructing Congress, and said a large portion of them belong to far-right militia movements, or were motivated by racial ideologies.

WRAY: "We've got a number who self-identify with, you know, the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers.

Things like that.

We also have a couple of instances where we've already identified individuals involved in the criminal behavior who we would put in the racially-motivated violent extremists who advocate for what you would call white supremacy." Senators also asked why Wray's FBI had not done more to protect the Capitol ahead of the attack.

SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: "Why didn't the FBI sound the alarm?" Wray said the FBI released an unverified intelligence report from its Norfolk, Virginia, office about violent extremists a day before the attack and shared it with other law enforcement agencies three different ways, but acknowledged he personally did not see the report until a few days later.