Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- Fla.) is raising concerns about the presence of “federal undercover agents or confidential informants” in the Capitol Hill siege on Jan. 6, even to the point that the FBI might have had a role in “organizing and participating” in the breakthrough event.
On Tuesday, June 15, Gaetz issued a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, seeking three answers to questions about the “extent … [to which] the three primary militia groups … [were] infiltrated by agencies of the federal government,” “how many federal undercover agents or confidential informants were present at the Capitol or in the Capitol during the ‘siege,'” and “how many [of the unindicted Jan. 6 co-conspirators] worked as a confidential informant or as an undercover operative for the federal government.”
He also said he expected a response from Wray by August 1.
BREAKING: Congressman Matt Gaetz calls on FBI Director Christopher Wray to fully disclose the role and involvement of FBI operatives during the January 6th Capitol riot.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 16, 2021
More details coming. pic.twitter.com/lviUHfhLyW
Two days later on Thursday, Gaetz went to Newsmax to discuss his action.
The FBI might have had a role in “organizing and participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot,” the Florida Representative reclaims.
“The FBI clearly doesn’t have objections to selected releases of video and images from these days but it begs the question: Why is there not more transparency?” Gaetz told Newsmax’s co-hosts “Cortes & Pellegrino”.
“What did the FBI know? And when did they know it?”, he asked.
“The question of whether or not the FBI animated some of the criminal conduct is one that is far more grave,” Gaetz told the co-hosts. “You talked about the Detroit situation with Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer, the very same FBI personnel that orchestrated that operation end[ed] up in Washington, D.C., at the headquarters.
“And so it’s reasonable to ask whether or not the FBI is engaged in a playbook where first they infiltrate an organization and then they try to bring that organization to the point of criminal conduct as a mechanism as to try and bring it down,” he added.
Gaetz’s reference to the Whitmer case was detailed in a segment on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, where Carlson leveled similar claims against the FBI. Undercover operatives may have triggered the Jan. 6 siege, according to host Tucker Carlson, who claims the strategy has been employed previously, including in the conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last October, Washington Examiner reported.
“In the FBI’s telling of that plot, a whole team of insurrectionists was going to drive a van up to Gretchen Whitmer’s vacation house and throw her in the back and drive away. … It turns out one of the five people in the planned ‘Gretchen Whitmer kidnap van’ was an FBI agent in the van. Another was an FBI informant, and the feds admitted in these documents that an informant or undercover agent was ‘usually present’ in this group’s meetings,” Carlson said, adding the accused kidnapper who suggested blowing up a bridge with a bomb as part of the plot “was an undercover FBI agent.”
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice on Oct. 6 last year in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, while a confidential human source, or informant, shared a picture of a map in the kidnappers’ group chat, it was Ty Garbin, an airline mechanic who later pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the case, who suggested blowing up the bridge.
Gaetz said he is concerned about a political weaponization of the FBI and the Justice Department, saying it is “an agency that has a whole lot of swamp left in it and needs to be drained.”
“I do not think we are dealing with a small group of bad apples,” Gaetz added. “I think that the FBI has morphed into a political opposition research organization and a political activism organization more than a law enforcement organization.
“Law enforcement is done best at the state and local level, not with a bunch of folks in Washington, D.C., who are addicted to the coverage that they receive from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN.”
Gaetz told Pellegrino that he has a strong gut sense that the FBI infiltrated the demonstrators who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, and he wants answers.
“We see an FBI and Department of Justice that I think has strayed from its original mission and now they’re engaging as political actors,” Gaetz said. “You know Jenn, I’ve been called a conspiracy theorist just for asking these questions, but whether it was the Russian hoax that was nonsense or the origins of the coronavirus at the Wuhan lab, I’ve got a pretty good track record of being right when I make pronouncements.
“And what I can say today is there was FBI infiltration of these groups and what we’ve got to decide is whether that infiltration led to more acute criminal conduct than would have otherwise occurred.”
Wray previously stated that there is no evidence that the incident was carried out by fake Trump supporters or antifa.
“Do you have any evidence that the capital attack was organized by, quote, ‘fake Trump protesters?'” Chairman Dick Durbin of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Wray during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 2.
“We have not seen evidence of that,” Wray responded.
The Florida congressman promises to use the House Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction to obtain the answers if Wray does not respond by Aug. 1.
“Director Wray can clear all of this up,” Gaetz concluded. “He can lay out the extent there was infiltration and he could tell us, ‘yes or no, were there FBI agents or operatives who were present on Jan. 6 who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6,’ and if that is the case, then I think that we’ll have a lot more follow up.”