FBI Executive Assistant Director of National Security Jill Sanborn repeatedly dodged questioning from Senator Ted Cruz about whether or not agents from the bureau or confidential informants had participated in the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
Under questioning by Cruz (R-TX) as to the role of agents or informants in the riot, Sanborn repeatedly responded, “I can’t answer that.”
While there is officially little evidence that the FBI had any role on that day, the repeated refusal to answer fairly straightforward questioning by the Senator led to a buzz amongst critics.
“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?” Cruz asked.
“Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods –” Sanborn began before Cruz rephrased the question.
“I can’t answer that,” Sanborn replied.
“Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6?” the Texas Republican continued to press.
“I can’t answer that,” Sanborn again responded.
.@SenTedCruz: “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?”
FBI’s Jill Sanborn: “I can’t answer that.” pic.twitter.com/Z5Sj1tSyNx
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11, 2022
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Cruz Questions FBI Involvement In January 6 Riot
Senator Ted Cruz continued asking about whether FBI agents or FBI informants had taken part in the January 6 riot, but the top official continued to provide the same stonewalling response.
Cruz took to social media to describe Sanborn’s responses as “completely unacceptable.”
“It should have been very easy for the FBI to tell me, ‘No federal agents participated in, actively incited, or encouraged others to commit violent crimes,'” he tweeted. “But today, the FBI stonewalled and refused to answer.”
Sen. @tedcruz says the Biden admin needs to “fess up” as to whether or not the FBI is “a politicized law enforcement operation” that actively encouraged illegal conduct on Jan 6. pic.twitter.com/7L3qdWJL9u
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 12, 2022
Cruz’s line of questioning then shifted to Ray Epps, a leader of the “Oath Keepers” group who was seen on video the day before the riot, telling a crowd, “Tomorrow, we need to get into the Capitol! Into the Capitol!”
Tucker Carlson: “Will the [January 6th Committee] be willing to broaden that statement & affirm in writing that Ray Epps wasn’t working w/ any Government Agency, law enforcement or otherwise? That would be a very simple change to make. Let’s see if they make it.” pic.twitter.com/BJtArWklZR
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 12, 2022
Despite remarks that likely would have led to charges for most who took part in the Capitol riot, the FBI has had very little interest in discussing Epps, something that came through yet again during Sanborn’s testimony.
“Miss Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?” Cruz asked.
“Sir, I cannot answer that question,” she replied.
Avoiding the question doesn’t affirm what Cruz is inquiring about, but it certainly raised some eyebrows.
Epps is one of three people who have been removed from the FBI’s Capitol Violence most wanted list without an explanation from authorities.
The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot issued a statement hours later in which they claim to have spoken to Epps, who cleared himself of any wrongdoing.
“The Select Committee has interviewed Mr. Epps,” they said in a statement.
“Mr. Epps informed us that he was not employed by, working with, or acting at the direction of any law enforcement agency on January 5th or 6th or at any other time, and that he has never been an informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.”
The January 6 committee has set a precedent with Ray Epps …
If they interview you and you say you’re innocent, then you’re innocent.
That’s all you have to say – then the case should be closed against you, just like it was Ray Epps.
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) January 11, 2022
Cruz Called Previously Called Riot A ‘Terrorist’ Attack
Senator Cruz was recently excoriated by Fox News host Tucker Carlson after the Texas Republican described the January 6 riot at the Capitol as a “terrorist” attack.
“It is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery — risk their lives for the Capitol,” Cruz said prior to the anniversary.
Carlson later interviewed Cruz and said his comments were flat-out “a lie.”
Ted Cruz explains his “terrorist attack” comment. pic.twitter.com/0xRbmOc5Si
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 7, 2022
A report surfaced earlier this month that authorities were so concerned about events being planned at the Capitol on January 6th that elite teams of ‘secret commandos’ with the authority to shoot-to-kill were deployed that day.
Leadership in both the Justice Department and the FBI, Newsweek reported, “anticipated the worst and decided to act independently” deploying the so-called “national” forces.
In this daily series, Newsweek explores the steps that led to the January 6 Capitol Riot. https://t.co/IPFdFtFBS2
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 3, 2022
A shocking Buzzfeed report prior to that indicates the case against those involved in an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is being “complicated” by an “array of issues” involving the FBI’s handling of the case.
For example, FBI informants were involved with the plot, and agents have been arrested for other crimes.
.@ggreenwald & @JesseBWatters Discuss Buzzfeed’s Reporting This Week About The FBI’s Role In The Governor Whitmer Kidnapping Plot & The Questions It Raises About What The FBI Knew About The Planning Of January 6th pic.twitter.com/nxxDplK2u0
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 25, 2021
Defendants in the Whitmer case have insisted they were victims of entrapment by an overzealous and severely compromised FBI investigation.
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