Commentary: One year later, more lingering questions about January 6

Republicans have a duty to insist on getting the answers. The FBI is a corrupt body that has lost the trust of many Americans, including Republicans who’ve historically supported the bureau.

U.S. Capitol/Public Domain

(American Greatness) — A bombshell report just published in Newsweek details an in-depth, secret operation conducted by the Justice Department before and during Jan. 6. Contrary to the lamentations of FBI Director Christopher Wray that he wished his agency had had better resources to prevent the Capitol breach, hundreds of elite forces under Wray’s authority were on stand-by days just before the protest, and even on the ground as it happened.

The “shadowy commandos” stationed at Quantico, home of the FBI Academy, on Jan. 2, 2021 included the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and SWAT teams.

“On the morning of January 6, most of these forces staged closer to downtown Washington, particularly after intelligence was received indicating a possible threat to FBI headquarters building or the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” Newsweek investigative reporter William M. Arkin wrote. “FBI tactical teams arrived on Capitol Hill early in the day to assist in the collection of evidence at sites — including the Republican and Democrat party national headquarters — where explosive devices were found. FBI SWAT teams and snipers were deployed to secure nearby congressional office buildings. Other FBI agents provided selective security around the U.S. Capitol and protection to congressional members and staff.”

An FBI tactical team, according to the report, entered the building immediately after protesters did, which was shortly after 2 p.m.

To the casual reader, news that the nation’s top law enforcement agency prepared ahead of time to combat possible violence on Jan. 6 is reassuring. But to anyone who has closely followed the hyperpartisan activity of the FBI over the past several years, the article reads more like a confession, confirming deep suspicions that the FBI played an instrumental role in prompting the events of that day rather than acting as a legitimate police force helping to keep lawmakers and American citizens safe.

Those suspicions are not without merit. In September, the New York Times confirmed that at least two FBI informants had infiltrated the Proud Boys, an alleged “militia group” that breached the Capitol that day. Defense attorneys disclose in court documents that FBI agents were in the crowd.

The Justice Department’s scandal-ridden prosecution of several men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 continues to reveal disturbing details of how the FBI concocted the plot and managed every aspect until the end. More than a dozen informants and undercover agents executed the scheme — one FBI asset per defendant. Prosecutors continue to tie the kidnapping plot and Jan. 6 together, a legal strategy that could backfire big-time for federal prosecutors.

And, more importantly, several agitators on Jan. 6 including Ray Epps and Stewart Rhodes, who is “Person 1” in the multi-defendant conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers, still have not been charged; neither have dozens of protesters photographed wearing neon orange hats and electrical tape that day.

So as the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of what Democrats and the Biden regime insist was an attack as grave as 9/11, the top unanswered question is — what did the FBI do and when did it do it?

At least one Republican congressman has already confronted Attorney General Merrick Garland about the FBI’s involvement on Jan. 6.

Playing a recording of Epps on the night of Jan. 5 and on two other occasions on Jan. 6 when he implored people to go “into the Capitol,” U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie asked Garland what he knew about his department’s participation in the Capitol protest. “Can you tell us without talking about particular videos how many agents or assets of the government were present on Jan. 6? Whether they agitated to go into the Capitol? And if any of them did?”

Garland, citing privacy concerns about an ongoing investigation, refused to answer.

But Republicans have a duty to insist on getting the answers. The FBI is a corrupt body that has lost the trust of many Americans, including Republicans who’ve historically supported the bureau. If the FBI infiltrated political groups months ahead of the protest, orchestrated travel plans, and instigated criminal behavior as the FBI apparently did in the Whitmer plot, the American people deserve to know.

More questions demand answers, including:

  • Why does the government continue to conceal 14,000 hours of surveillance video taken inside and outside the Capitol building on Jan. 6? If the “attack” was indeed an act of domestic terror, as Wray concluded, the public should see every minute of the footage. Instead, the Justice Department continues to petition the court to keep every clip under a protective order with limited access even to defendants and their attorneys.
  • Who planted the alleged pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee on the evening of Jan. 5? That scare prompted the first set of evacuations right as Trump finished his speech at the Ellipse the next day. Considering the excessive powers the FBI has used to hunt down Capitol trespassers, including geofence warrants to collect cellphone data of everyone in the city that day, it’s inexplicable that the perpetrator has not been caught and charged — unless, of course, the perpetrator was a fed.
  • Who gave the orders to D.C. and Capitol police to assault protesters with explosive devices such as flashbangs, pepper balls, rubber bullets, and chemical spray? The unwarranted attacks led to most of the confrontations between police and protesters, resulting in more than 100 charges of assaulting police officers against Capitol protesters. At the same time, the government is concealing the names of officers involved in the alleged attacks, contending they are crime victims and require privacy.
  • Who are the officers who beat, punched, stomped, and maced women inside the lower west terrace tunnel that afternoon? One of the women, Victoria White, faces numerous criminal charges but her brutal attackers have not been identified or charged. In any other case of police brutality, the names of the officers would be released almost immediately. But once again, the rules are different for Jan. 6.
  • Where is the report on the internal investigation into Michael Byrd, the Capitol cop who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt and who remains on the force to this day?
  • Who are the officers who let hundreds of people into the building that afternoon?
  • Why did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reject offers for thousands of National Guard soldiers to assist with security on Jan. 6?
  • Where is the full autopsy report on Rosanne Boyland, one of two women who died on Jan. 6? The D.C. coroner claimed she died of an accidental drug overdose but video and eyewitness accounts support a more sinister culprit: that police contributed to — if not caused — her death at the age of 34. Capitol police officers Aquilino Gonell and Harry Dunn testified that they handled her body before she was officially pronounced dead that evening around 6 p.m. What did they do?

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, Republicans in Washington have shown no appetite for exposing the truth about Jan. 6. Republican senators have remained completely silent except to go along with the “armed insurrection” narrative and only a handful of Republican House members have called out the Justice Department’s abusive investigation and political prison.

Democrats have the upper hand for now. If Republicans take over Congress next year, they must demand a full investigation under a new Jan. 6 select committee. If the Capitol protest was, as it increasingly appears, an inside job, the American people are entitled to know the truth.


Julie Kelly
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of "Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried ― And Failed ― To Take Down the President." Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of "Happy Hour podcast with Julie and Liz." She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.