There has been no evidence presented to show FBI involvement in the riot on Jan. 6.
On Wednesday, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) without evidence accused the FBI of orchestrating the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Gaetz posted a video of an appearance by former Donald Trump speechwriter Darren Beattie on Fox News, embedded in a tweet that reads, "BREAKING: @DarrenJBeattie of Revolver News breaks down the involvement of FBI operatives who organized and participated in the January 6th Capitol riot."
Greene shared Gaetz's post and added, "We need names and answers about the FBI operatives, who were involved in organizing and carrying out the Jan 6th Capitol riot," Greene tweeted. "First they had a 'back up plan' to stop Trump in Russia Collusion witch hunt, now we are finding out they were deeply involved in Jan 6th. Deep State."
Gaetz and Greene based their claims on Beattie's appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," which has been a venue for the airing of many right-wing conspiracies.
In the segment, Carlson claimed:
Without fail, the government has thrown the book at most people who were present in the Capitol on January 6. There was a nationwide dragnet to find them. Many of them are still in solitary confinement tonight.
But strangely, some of the key people who participated on Jan. 6 have not been charged. Look at the documents: The government calls those people unindicted co-conspirators. What does that mean? Well, it means that in potentially every single case they were FBI operatives. Really? In the Capitol on Jan. 6?
Carlson presented no evidence to back up his allegation.
Nor does Beattie in a story published by the right-wing outlet Revolver News. He instead raises a series of questions about supposed government involvement in the events, writing:
If it turns out that the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, or a similar agency) had undercover agents or confidential informants embedded in any of the groups involved in 1/6, the "federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence" looks less like an innocent mistake and more like something sinister.
It is unsettling to entertain the possibility that the federal government knew of a potential for violence on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it. It presents the question: why would agencies, or certain elements within, sit back and let something like this happen on purpose?
We at Revolver News have noticed a pattern from our now months-long investigation into 1/6 — and in particular from our meticulous study of the charging documents related to those indicted. In many cases the unindicted co-conspirators appear to be much more aggressive and egregious participants in the very so-called "conspiracy" serving as the basis for charging those indicted.
The question immediately arises as to why this is the case, and forces us to consider whether certain individuals are being protected from indictment because they were involved in 1/6 as undercover operatives or confidential informants for a federal agency.
In 2018, Beattie was fired from his job as a speechwriter for Trump after it was revealed that he had spoken at a conference in 2016 alongside white nationalist Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigration website VDare who has described himself as a believer in "racial nationalism."
Revolver News was also the publisher of an article used by Republican lawmakers and other right-wing figures as the basis for attacks on Bishop Garrison, the head of the Department of Defense's Countering Extremism Working Group, in which they call him a "MAGA purge man" and a "lunatic" who prioritizes "bigotry and anti-white hatred over national security."
While there is no evidence to support claims that the FBI was involved in the rioting on Jan. 6, the evidence that the Capitol attackers were Trump supporters is substantial.
Many of the people who attacked the Capitol attended a "Stop the Steal" rally hosted by Trump in Washington, D.C., right before the attack, where he incited them to go to the Capitol.
Videos and photographs of the Capitol attackers show them wearing pro-Trump hats and carrying Trump flags and repeating the false claim that Trump won the 2020 election.
Since their arrests, many of the accused have explicitly cited their support for Trump as the reason they attacked the building.
Both Gaetz and Greene have previously promoted conspiracy theories.
Without evidence, Gaetz accused Democrats of engaging in "ballot laundering" to win races in the 2020 election. In 2018, he claimed Democrats had manufactured votes in elections in Florida. That same year he appeared on a program hosted by 9/11 and Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and alleged that there was a "deep state" effort to undermine Trump's presidency.
Greene has backed the discredited QAnon conspiracy theory and recently stated that COVID-19 was a "bioweapon" engineered by China. She has also alleged that a laser beam from space financed by the international banking firm owned by the Jewish Rothschild family was used to cause wildfires in California in 2018, repeating a centuries-old antisemitic trope.
Gaetz and Greene have been touring the country together to promote the latest conspiracy theory-based audit of the election results in Arizona and promoting the idea that other states should undertake the same process.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.