“I’m not aware of any investigation that specifically goes to that, but we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of investigations related to January 6, involving lots and lots of different pieces of it,” Wray informed the House Judiciary Committee in response to a query from Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had repeated varied statements made by Trump prior to the assault on the US Capitol, asking the FBI director if “Trump’s actions, words, deeds, on that day” have been seen as a contributing issue to the violence.

It was half of an aggressive line of questioning from Democrats on the committee who’ve been making an attempt to pin the assault on the former President, whereas suggesting the FBI hasn’t taken significantly the threat of White supremacy that has been highlighted as extra arrests are introduced.

Chairman Jerry Nadler set the tone for the listening to in his opening remarks, specializing in what the FBI knew about the menace forward of the January 6 assault, which resulted in the dying of 5 folks, greater than 100 regulation enforcement officers injured and thousands and thousands of {dollars} in damages to the Capitol constructing.

“That attack is very much still with us, Director Wray. The threat is ongoing and we need your help to do the work of reckoning on with it,” the New York Democrat stated. “For a start, we need to understand what the bureau knew in the run up to the attack, when it knew it, and what prevented it from disrupting the work of the terrorists who planned it, because we know the attack was not a spontaneous event.”

More than 5 months after lots of of pro-Trump supporters gathered in Washington, DC, for a “Save America” rally that was suffering from rhetoric from Trump and his allies to cease the Electoral College depend, practically 500 folks have been charged in connection to the insurrection. As the federal authorities continues to announce arrests, Wray stated he expects extra critical fees.

Among these charged have been members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and different far-right extremist organizations. More than a dozen Oath Keepers have conspiracy fees against them in connection to the riot.

Wray testified that the FBI “does not and should not police ideology” nor do they “investigate groups or individuals based on the exercise of First Amendment protected activity alone.”

“But when we encounter violence and threats to public safety, the FBI will not hesitate to take appropriate action,” he stated.

Wray stated that his “utmost concern” is the improve in violence throughout the nation, including that the FBI has initiated extra hate crime investigations this fiscal 12 months than in the previous 5 years.

But Nadler took goal at the bureau, saying the FBI has for “far too long downplayed” the menace of White supremacy. The FBI, he stated, has “lumped together a wide range of activities under the term racially motivated violent extremism, as if there were any equivalence whatsoever between Black and brown activists marching for justice and the right-wing extremists who attack the Capitol Police and try to hang Mike Pence.”

Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, who has been an activist since the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014, stated she is aware of first-hand that the FBI makes use of investigative supplies like surveillance aircrafts to monitor protests related to racial justice.

“The Bureau has a White supremacy problem within its ranks. The choice to not pursue White supremacist violence like what we saw on January 6 is not because the Bureau does not have the resources or the statutory discretion to do so,” Bush stated. “It is a blatant dismissal of White supremacy as a threat. It is racist, it’s unethical, it’s unconscionable.”

Wray was unable to reply to Bush as the allotted 5 minutes given to every member of Congress to ask questions had expired.

Democratic Reps. Veronica Escobar of Texas and Mondaire Jones of New York individually pressed Wray about their issues of potential threats to democracy, like Trump’s theory he’s been sharing with aides — first reported by the New York Times — that he’ll be reinstated in August, and former nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn appearing to support a Myanmar-style coup in the US in remarks captured on video. For months, QAnon and Trump-supporting on-line boards have celebrated the lethal army coup in Myanmar and advised the identical ought to occur in the United States so Trump may very well be reinstated as president. The former Trump nationwide safety adviser has claimed he wasn’t endorsing such a coup.

“In my role I think I have to be careful to speak through our work and when the FBI director speaks, I speak through our investigations, and our intelligence products. And so I just, I don’t think I should be starting to start chiming in on other people’s public chatter or rhetoric, no matter what it is,” Wray responded to Jones’ inquiry. He gave an analogous response to Escobar.


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