On Thursday, FBI Director Chris Rai suggested that “serious charges” were still pending in the criminal investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“This is a very ongoing investigation and much remains to be done,”
Wray testified that the FBI considered the attack an act of “internal terrorism.” He said he understood why Democratic lawmakers called the attack an “uprising”, but said it would not be appropriate for him to use the word because of the effect it could have on pending criminal cases.
“In my role as director of the FBI, because it’s a term that has legal meaning, I really have to be careful to use such words,” Rai said.
Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly grilled Urai, appointed by Trump in 2017, for what they said were intelligence failures that left law enforcement ill-prepared for the deadly attack.
“The FBI’s inaction in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 is just puzzling,” Nadler said. “It’s hard to know if the FBI headquarters simply missed the evidence – which was marked by your field offices and was available online for worldwide viewing – or the Bureau saw the intelligence, underestimated the threat and simply didn’t act. “
Wye responded that on Jan. 5, the FBI’s field office in Virginia issued an explicit warning sent to U.S. Capitol police that the extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence.
Rai added that “almost none” of the 500 people accused so far of involvement in the attack had been investigated by the FBI before, suggesting that it would be difficult for the FBI to monitor them in advance.
“You can be sure that we will look hard for how we can do better, how we can do more, how we can do things differently in terms of gathering and disseminating intelligence,” Rai said.
Asked if the FBI was investigating Trump or his accomplice Roger Stone, Ray said he could neither confirm nor deny an FBI investigation.
“I’m talking about Mr. Big, number one,” said Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, referring to Trump. “Have you persecuted the people who instigated the riot?”
Wray replied, “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to discuss whether or not we are investigating specific individuals.”
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