As the January 6 hearings continue, there are outstanding questions that remain unanswered. The most pressing questions are “what individuals were responsible and why were they involved?” But Democrats, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department are not focused on questions directed at them.
Back in September 2021, The New York Times published an article that shows that the FBI admitted to having informants and operatives within the crowd demonstrating outside the Capitol on January 6, according to confidentially obtained documents. An informant a part of the right-wing Proud Boys was reportedly in communication with an FBI agent on what was unfolding at the protest; however, the records did not show any plot that the Proud Boys were going to instigate any violence.
In the middle of an unfolding melee that shook a pillar of American democracy — the peaceful transfer of power—the bureau had an informant in the crowd, providing an inside glimpse of the action, according to confidential records obtained by The New York Times.
The use of informants always presents law enforcement officials with difficult judgments about the credibility and completeness of the information they provide. In this case, the records obtained by The Times do not directly address whether the informant was in a good position to know about plans developed for Jan. 6 by the leadership of the Proud Boys, why he was cooperating, whether he could have missed indications of a plot or whether he could have deliberately misled the government.But the records, and information from two people familiar with the matter, suggest that federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known. Moreover, the records indicate that F.B.I. officials in Washington were alerted in advance of the attack that the informant was traveling to the Capitol with several other Proud BoysBut the records contain no indication that the informant was aware of a possible plot by Proud Boys leaders to purposefully instigate those normal Trump supporters — or what members of the group refer to as “normies”—on Jan. 6.
If it is true that law enforcement knew about the assault on the Capitol prior to it taking place, but there was no indication of right-wing groups affiliated with the violence, then who was involved? Prior to the demonstration, the FBI reportedly attempted to recruit U.S. veteran Jeremy Brown as an informant for the January 6 protest. He refused and was subsequently arrested for attending the protest. He has currently been in a Florida prison for seven months without a trial over a misdemeanor charge.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled, “The Domestic Terrorism One Year After January 6,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz repeatedly asked the FBI’s executive assistant director for their national security branch, Jill Sanborn, whether or not the FBI was involved in any way on January 6. The agent refused to confirm or deny, under oath, the FBI’s involvement.
“Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?” Ted Cruz asked.
“Sir, I can’t answer that.”
Cruz then asked about Ray Epps. “Ms. Sanborn, who is Ray Epps?”
“I’m aware of the individual, sir,” she said. “I don’t have the specific background on him.”
As Cruz showed, Ray Epps was a provocateur the night prior to the protest, telling the crowd that they need to storm the Capitol to which they all chanted in unison, “Fed! Fed! Fed! Fed!” Then, at the protest, he is seen whispering in some protestors’ ears and five seconds later they began to knock down barricades.
Epps was once listed as a person of interest in connection with January 6 but was subsequently taken off. The Justice Department will not answer why he was removed as a potential suspect. The select committee investigating January 6 also outright denied that he was a federal operative.
As American Pigeon reported, what we still do not know is whether or not Representative Nancy Pelosi and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser denied Trump’s request for the National Guard ahead of the January 6 protests. Ex-Police Chief Steven Sund says that his request for the National Guard was denied six times over the optics of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests, according to npr.