Responding to a bizarre line of questioning from Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) at a Wednesday hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray refuted the conspiracy theory that the violence of January 6, 2021, was driven by informants or agitators working with federal law enforcement for what would have been (in this theory) some entrapment operation… or something.
Wray refused to give specifics on the work of the FBI’s confidential human sources, which is routine, but he emphatically refuted the broader argument tying these individuals to the Capitol violence’s formation. Higgins had been asking Wray about specific allegations of involvement by human sources, and by the end of his questioning (after Wray’s refutation), he insisted that innocuous buses showing up at a D.C. bus station early on January 6 were “filled with FBI informants dressed as Trump supporters, deployed into our Capitol on January 6.” There is zero real-world evidence for Higgins’ claims. The image displayed behind him just showed the outside of some seemingly random buses.
“If you are asking whether the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources and/or agents, the answer is emphatically no,” Wray said.
It’s become rather common for Republicans in either the House or Senate to try and use routine refusals by law enforcement officials to give various specifics in a public forum as somehow incriminating, despite, well, the routine nature of their answers. It’s established practice at the Justice Department for leadership to shield the nature of their investigative methods as a general matter, including in the context of specific, ongoing investigations.
The Higgins theory of January 6 — that the day’s events were generally the result of secret federal intervention — contrasts with the insistence from Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump on standing with individuals who participated in the assault. Did the violence not happen as documented and reported, making these individuals “political prisoners,” or was it the secret work of federal cooperators? They can’t decide…