(CNN)FBI Director Chris Wray said Thursday that he is “not aware of any investigation” against former President Donald Trump in connection with the January 6 insurrection.
“I’m not aware of any investigation that specifically goes to that, but we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of investigations related to January 6, involving lots and lots of different pieces of it,” Wray told the House Judiciary Committee in response to a question from Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had repeated various statements made by Trump prior to the attack on the US Capitol, asking the FBI director if “Trump’s actions, words, deeds, on that day” were seen as a contributing factor to the violence.
It was part of an aggressive line of questioning from Democrats on the committee who have been trying to pin the attack on the former President, while suggesting the FBI hasn’t taken seriously the threat of White supremacy that has been highlighted as more arrests are announced.
Chairman Jerry Nadler set the tone for the hearing in his opening remarks, focusing on what the FBI knew about the threat ahead of the January 6 attack, which resulted in the death of five people, more than 100 law enforcement officers injured and millions of dollars in damages to the Capitol building.
“That attack is very much still with us, Director Wray. The threat is ongoing and we need your help to do the work of reckoning on with it,” the New York Democrat said. “For a start, we need to understand what the bureau knew in the run up to the attack, when it knew it, and what prevented it from disrupting the work of the terrorists who planned it, because we know the attack was not a spontaneous event.”
More than five months after hundreds of pro-Trump supporters gathered in Washington, DC, for a “Save America” rally that was littered with rhetoric from Trump and his allies to stop the Electoral College count, nearly 500 people have been charged in connection to the insurrection. As the federal government continues to announce arrests, Wray said he expects more serious charges.
Among those charged have been members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other far-right extremist organizations. More than a dozen Oath Keepers have conspiracy charges against them in connection to the riot.
Wray testified that the FBI “does not and should not police ideology” nor do they “investigate groups or individuals based on the exercise of First Amendment protected activity alone.”
“But when we encounter violence a
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