FBI Director Christopher Wray reported on Tuesday that the bureau had no proof that far-left violent extremists were involved in the assault on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.
“We have not seen any reports of anarchist militant radicals or people subscribed to antifa in association with the sixth,” Wray told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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“That doesn’t mean we aren’t looking; we are, and we will continue to search, but we haven’t seen it yet.”
Former President Trump’s supporters have consistently claimed that “antifa,” an umbrella word for far-left leaning parties, was responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) reported from the House floor hours after the crowd was removed from the Capitol that some members of the mob who invaded the Capitol on Wednesday were members of antifa “masquerading as Trump supporters.”
During Trump’s impeachment proceedings, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington) said that when Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “finally reached the president on January 6 and begged him to openly and firmly call off the riot, the president initially repeated the lie that it was antifa who had breached the Capitol, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa who had breached the Capitol.”
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In his opening statement during the impeachment trial, the former president’s lawyer also tried to accuse so-called antifa militants without presenting any evidence.
Republicans have also tried to use last summer’s racial justice protests, which often turned violent, to address Democratic demands for the FBI to concentrate on white nationalism and other far-right agendas, claiming that the bureau should focus on a wide variety of extremists.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) addressed the issue during his opening statement at the hearing on Tuesday.
“At the summer’s violent activities, it’s been a relatively common sight to see individuals behaving in coordination, carrying the antifa “A” sign,” Grassley said, referring to the demonstrations in Portland.
“In light of these ever-present left-wing challenges, I’m worried about Congressional Democrats’ talk of’resource shifting.’ We need to look at domestic terrorism in a broad context, taking into account both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. Without it, no significant oversight action or policy actions can be carried out.”
Wray has defied legislative pressure to restrict his emphasis on particular ideologies.
He said, “We don’t care what philosophy motivates someone.” “It doesn’t matter whether it’s to the left, right, up, down, diagonal, or some other direction. We’ll go after the ideology if it inspires violence and violates federal law.”