FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday repeatedly shot down claims by Republican allies of former President Donald Trump and others that antifa activists participated in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
“We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to antifa in connection with the 6th,” Wray said in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to address concerns about the intelligence leading up to the riot and the domestic terrorism threat more broadly. “That doesn’t mean we’re not looking, and we’ll continue to look, but at the moment we have not seen that.”
Wray explained that those who participated in the breach of the Capitol fell into two main groups of violent extremists — those associated with militia groups, such as Oath Keepers, and those who advocate white supremacy.
For weeks, many allies of Donald Trump have tried to deflect blame for the violent invasion of the Capitol building from Trump to “antifa activists.”
The vast majority of the 300+ participants who have been arrested for taking part in the insurrection have social media accounts chock full of far-right content.
Wray also said today the FBI is not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election.
FBI Director Wray: "We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the 6th." pic.twitter.com/iQbrhvU0Dm
The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.
The determination by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to be a key finding in his highly anticipated report due out on Dec. 9 examining aspects of the Russia investigation.
The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped.
The report is expected to undercut many claims by conservatives that the FBI acted improperly while investigating Trump associates during the 2016 election.
Former FBI director Andrew McCabe on CBS’ 60 Minutes
Speaking to 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, former FBI director Andrew McCabe shared an episode from a security briefing with Donald Trump in which the president told intelligence heads he didn’t believe their reports on North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities.
When the intel chiefs explained their sourcing and report, Trump reportedly fired back, “I don’t care. I believe Putin.”
“The president launched into several unrelated diatribes. One of those was commenting on the recent missile launches by the government of North Korea. And, essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because President Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don’t actually have those missiles. Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses. To which the president replied, ‘I don’t care. I believe Putin’.”
“I don’t care. I believe Putin,” Pres Trump allegedly said, rejecting U.S. intelligence regarding North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile capability. McCabe says he heard this from an FBI official who was at the meeting with POTUS. https://t.co/9zmoxrYNjmpic.twitter.com/lo0g9VOMAG
“I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the President of the United States,” says McCabe, who lost his job just a day before he would have been able to collect his full pension. He is considering suing the government over this. https://t.co/9oNEXZi0GRpic.twitter.com/MzmP4ej7XW
After the airing of 60 Minutes, Trump took to Twitter to retweet his attacks on McCabe, and added this:
Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught…..
….There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.
I’m also going to make a point to include this from the Times report:
No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.
Clearly, I don’t have the evidence that the FBI has gathered but we do know that Trump frequently praised Russian President Putin, taking his word over that of the US intelligence community regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.
That alone that should give pause to any American.
The Donald’s short little fingers flew across his iPhone’s keyboard this morning in a Twitter rage complete with ‘the Failing New York Times,’ ‘Lyin James Comey,’ ‘Crooked Hillary,’ and a boast of being ‘FAR tougher on Russia than Obama.’
Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!
…Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),….
….the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop……
…..who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!
I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!
Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!
Donald Trump took to Twitter last night after apparently watching a report on Fox News (what else?) that China might have hacked into Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Are we still talking about the emails???
Trump wrote, “‘China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private Email Server.’ Are they sure it wasn’t Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!”
He followed that up with another missive asserting, “Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!”
Now, the truth is the FBI has already determined that no classified information was sent via Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Report just out: “China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private Email Server.” Are they sure it wasn’t Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!
Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!
Earlier today, FBI agent Peter Strzok resoundingly denounced the approach and tone House Republicans took during his testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
This is amazing.
“Sir, I think it’s important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made, and the things that were going on across America. In terms of the texts that, ‘We will stop it.’ You need to understand that that was written late at night, off-the-cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that horrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.
“It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process, for any candidate. So I take great offense and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn’t.
“As to the ‘100 million to one’ that was clearly a statement made in jest and using hyperbole, I of course recognize that millions of Americans were likely to vote for candidate Trump. I acknowledge that is absolutely their right, that is what makes our democracy such a vibrant process that it is.
“But to suggest somehow that we can parse down the words of shorthand textual conversations like they’re some contract for a car is simply not consistent with my or most people’s use of text messaging. I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, at no time, in any of these texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took.
“Furthermore, this isn’t just me sitting here telling you you don’t have to take my word for it. At every step, at every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me, the assistant director, executive assistant director, deputy director and director of the FBI, and multiple layers of people below me, section chiefs, supervisors, unit chiefs, case agents and analysts, all of whom were involved in all of these decisions. They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them.
“That is who we are as the FBI. And the suggestion that I in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It simply couldn’t happen. And the proposition that that is going on, that it might occur anywhere in the FBI, deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.”
And when he finished, there was applause in the chamber.
Strzok is accused of anti-Trump bias during the 2016 while investigating possible Russian interference in the election.
A late night text to a colleague has been the basis of personal attacks against him.
As has been established, there is no law preventing an FBI agent from having a personal opinion as long as it doesn’t come into play with their work.
Watch Peter Strzok take Rep. Trey Gowdy to task over his attacks on the FBI.
Update: The Washington Post now says Michael Cohen is “under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to a person with knowledge of the case.”
Breaking news right now as word comes that the FBI raided the office and home of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in connection to the ongoing Stormy Daniels/Trump scandal.
Cohen has admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 just days before the 2016 election as part of a non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair Daniels had with Trump.
According to The New York Times, prosecutors executed the search after receiving a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian interference during the election.
Today’s search and seizure doesn’t seem to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Experts say today’s actions were the result of information Mueller had discovered and handed over to prosecutors in New York.
Mr. Cohen has stated in the past that he is cooperating with authorities regarding the Russian meddling and has turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators.
The Times reports the $130K payment to Daniels is only one of several topics being investigated by the FBI in relation to Cohen. Also seized today were tax documents, emails and business records.
Included in today’s search were communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen.
The Times says review of those documents will require a special team of agents because conversations between lawyers and clients enjoy attorney/client privilege in most cases.
So Michael Cohen, the “Says Who” wiseguy lawyer, who knows where all the bodies are buried, and where all the porn stars were paid…
“Rosenstein, as the acting attorney general supervising Mueller’s work, has the responsibility of deciding whether to expand Mueller’s mandate to include the new topic or to refer it to a U.S. attorney’s office.” https://t.co/vjJD7WaQpD
Obviously very big deal. Because:
– extremely unusual
– needed search warrant
– requires serious charges
– requires strong evidence
– judges are extra cautious with lawyers
– warrant covered several areas, not just one issue
– FBI wouldn’t do unless surehttps://t.co/kP6kbIymms
It’s my understanding that government doesn’t raid the offices of any lawyer lightly. The layers of bureaucratic approval that a raid of THE SITTING PRESIDENT’S LAWYER must have gone through simply boggles my mind. https://t.co/WjjZm69BsZ
McCabe had more recently been regularly taunted by President Donald Trump and besieged by accusations that he had misled internal investigators at the Justice Department.
In a blistering statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing is part of a larger effort to discredit the FBI and the special counsel’s investigation.
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” McCabe said. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
McCabe had been expected to retire this Sunday, on his 50th birthday, when he would have become eligible to receive early retirement benefits.
But Friday’s termination could place a portion of his anticipated pension, earned after more than two decades of service, in significant jeopardy.
Donald Trump, who clearly ordered the firing, weighed in via Twitter:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
If McCabe appeals his firing (which it appears he will do), then Trump just made the job of proving that McCabe was fired unjustly to satisfy Trump’s vendetta a whole lot easier. https://t.co/z0xOqpa5sH
CNN has learned the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility has recommended McCabe be fired and now the decision is up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The issue stems from findings in an internal Justice Department watchdog report that claims he misled investigators about his decision to authorize FBI officials to speak to the media about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
A representative for McCabe declined to comment.
That report, which has been complete for over a week, according to the source, has not been released publicly. The office is currently examining how investigations were handled at the department and the FBI in advance of the 2016 presidential election, including, notably, the Hillary Clinton email server probe.
JUST IN: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering firing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He is set to officially retire on March 18 but, according to a source, could be fired just days before and lose his pension after a 22-year career https://t.co/cp770Ktg2Npic.twitter.com/uTQlQTvhlL