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.
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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.”
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!”
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.”
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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.”
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.
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.
Defendants in the Whitmer case have insisted they were victims of entrapment by an overzealous and severely compromised FBI investigation.
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