An FBI investigation into the lead-up to the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol found no evidence that members of Congress were in contact with protesters-turned-rioters during the incident, according to the New York Times.
The investigation did, however, turn up a phone call between the “Proud Boys” and someone inside the Trump White House, though it is not yet clear who that individual was or whether they had contact with the president, per the outlet’s Saturday report.
Shortly after the January 6th attack, Democrat members of Congress “demanded” that the FBI investigate their Republican colleagues to determine whether any member of the GOP aided or abetted Capitol rioters either before or during a planned pro-Trump rally, slated to take place while the Senate was voting to certify the Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden the winner of the November presidential election.
“Even as Democrats on Wednesday impeached President Trump, they turned their attention to allegations that Republican members of Congress encouraged last week’s attempted insurrection, possibly providing help that enabled the mob who stormed the Capitol,” the Washington Post reported January 13th.
“Their accomplices in this House will be held responsible,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told the outlet at the time, citing a report from another Democratic Congresswoman, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), who “said in a Facebook Live broadcast that she saw Republicans ‘who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.’ She said some of her GOP colleagues ‘abetted’ Trump and ‘incited this violent crowd.'”
Data, the New York Times said, Saturday, “has revealed no evidence of communications between the rioters and members of Congress during the deadly attack, the official said. That undercuts Democratic allegations that some Republican lawmakers were active participants that day.”
It’s not clear that all members of Congress are off the hook just yet, however. There is some “evidence in the days leading up to Jan. 6 of communications between far-right extremists and lawmakers who were planning to appear at the rally featuring Mr. Trump that occurred just before the assault,” but the FBI has “not opened investigations into any members” as a result of those calls.
The FBI has arrested a “mid-level” State Department aide on “charges related to the attack, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon,” per an NYT report from last week, and Saturday’s report did indicate that at one person inside the Trump White House may have been in contact with extremists planning the attack, but “the FBI has not determined what they discussed, and the official would not reveal the names of either party.”
Congress is reportedly slated to begin its own investigation into the events leading up to the Capitol riot. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others have called for a “9/11-style commission” to “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex.”
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