Capitol Riot Investigation: FBI Finds Little Evidence of Organized Plot

Capitol Riot Investigation: FBI Finds Little Evidence of Organized Plot

Protesters clash with Capitol police at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The FBI has uncovered little evidence that the January 6 Capitol riot was organized beforehand, four current and former law-enforcement officials told Reuters on Friday.

Federal officials have arrested about 570 participants since the riot occurred, and dozens have been charged with assaulting a police officer. However, the FBI does not believe that far-right groups and supporters of former President Trump coordinated the riot, sources said.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law-enforcement official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

During the riot, supporters of the former president breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate the building during the certification of the Electoral College results. Trump repeatedly claimed that Democrats “stole” the election in the weeks following President Biden’s win, including at a rally on the National Mall on January 6.

Prosecutors have filed charges of conspiracy against 40 people involved in the riot, including members of far-right militia groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. However, FBI officials found that while members of those groups may have planned to break into the Capitol, they did not plan for what to do following a break-in.

House lawmakers have set up a commission to investigate the riots, with Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) calling to investigate “what happened every minute of that day in the White House, every phone call, every conversation, every meeting, leading up to and during the attack.” Cheney and Representative Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), both staunchly anti-Trump, are the only Republicans on the commission.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) rejected Representatives Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) and Jim Banks (R., Ind.) as appointees to the commission. In response, Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) pulled the participation of the other three lawmakers he initially recommended to the commission.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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