The Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray just wrapped.
Wray testified publicly for the first time since pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol nearly two months ago. He was pressed by Democrats and Republicans about the failures that took place during the Jan. 6 attack and how his agency is looking to thwart other potential domestic threats.
Here are some key moments from his testimony:
- He refuted claims Antifa was at the Capitol riot and knocked down conspiracy theories that rioters were "fake Trump protesters": Wray made clear that Antifa and other left-wing groups were not part of the violence on Jan. 6, which he called "domestic terrorism" — even as several Republicans sought to use the hearing as an opportunity to highlight the threat posed by those groups rather than focus on the Capitol attack. "We have not, to date, seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection to the 6th," Wray told the Senate committee. He also told lawmakers Tuesday that the FBI has not seen any evidence indicating that the rioters who took part in the Capitol attack were "fake Trump protesters."
- He defended his agency's warnings before the attack: Wray described how the FBI quickly shared an intelligence report known as "Norfolk memo," about online chatter before Jan. 6, in three ways with other law enforcement agencies, after receiving the information from the FBI's Norfolk field office. He said it was shared in an email to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a verbal command post briefing in the Washington field office and at FBI headquarters that involved police in DC, and through the law enforcement portal, according to Wray. His answers to at least three senators' questions today about the Norfolk report were in contrast to testimony last week from law enforcement chiefs around the Capitol who largely blamed security failures on a lack of intelligence that had been communicated.
- He shared where the Capitol riot investigation stands: Wray opened his testimony on Capitol Hill today by saying that the behavior of the rioters on Jan. 6 was "criminal" and has "no place in our democracy." Wray added that "tolerating" the actions of those who sieged the Capitol "would make a mockery of our nation's rule of law." Wray said that so far in the investigation: People have sent the FBI more than 270,000 digital media tips, the FBI has opened hundreds of investigations in all but one of their 56 field offices around the country and that the FBI has arrested more than 270 people to date and more than 300 when you include the FBI's partner agencies. The investigation into the death of Officer Brian Sicknick is still ongoing, Wray said.
Read more about today's hearing here.