Did the FBI ‘Instigate’ the Capitol Riot? – Not Likely – But Questions Remain

Mobilus In Mobili via Flickr

Recently, some conservative sources have been claiming that the FBI had a role in instigating or planning the January 6 riot at the Capitol. This theory, first reported by Revolver.News received a major push when Tucker Carlson also reported on it on Fox News. This idea was supposedly supported by the fact that there were numerous ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ mentioned in the government charging documents against several suspects.

This was taken to mean they were FBI informants, agents, operatives, or assets, and that the FBI somehow helped plan or instigate the riot. This argument always seemed tenuous to me, at best.

While the possibility clearly exists that FBI informants were involved in the riot, the ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ angle doesn’t appear to hold water.

Still, this does not mean FBI informants or operatives weren’t infiltrated into groups involved in the riot, or the FBI did not have foreknowledge of any planning for the riot. As a matter of fact they are very likely, and those possibilities need to be fully investigated.

The FBI-instigated-the-riot narrative started with a June 14 report by Revolver News that said there’s a “strong possibility” the federal government had “undercover agents or confidential informants embedded within the so-called militia groups” that were seeking to obstruct the Senate certification of the 2020 election results. Tucker Carlson, Republican lawmakers and social media users then amplified that claim, adding that this meant FBI assets were involved in organizing or instigating the riot.

USA TODAY noted that this produced a firestorm of outrage and questions because critics argued that since upward of 20 unindicted co-conspirators listed in federal charging documents haven’t been charged, there is a “disturbing possibility” that they could be undercover FBI agents or federal informants.

Facebook users have shared an open letter from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in which he demands FBI Director Christopher Wray “fully disclose the role and involvement of FBI operatives during the January 6th Capitol riot.” Other users shared a clip of Carlson’s June 15 show, during which he said “FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6.”

But, notes the USA Today report, “that theory relies on a false assumption: that anyone identified as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in charging documents is a government agent.”

In fact, legal experts say that term cannot be used to describe FBI agents or undercover government operatives. Charging documents and other evidence indicate that the Jan. 6 rioters included Trump supporters, conspiracy theorists and members of far-right groups.

The term “unindicted co-conspirators” refers to people who allegedly took part in the same offense in some fashion but are not being criminally charged for their role, Ira Robbins, an American University law professor, wrote in a 2004 paper that represents the legal consensus on the term.

This can include someone who cooperated with law enforcement to receive a deal or who authorities don’t feel they have sufficient evidence to charge.

“Prosecutors would not name FBI agents as unindicted co-conspirators,” Robbins told USA TODAY via email. “Tucker Carlson’s allegation that the FBI organized the attack on the Capitol is pure fantasy.”

According to USA Today, Robbins said that while it is possible FBI agents were acting undercover in extremist organizations involved in the Capitol riot, that “would not necessarily mean they had instigated the insurrection.”

This last point made by Robbins, however, leaves open a significant line of questioning for federal agencies. Were FBI agents or informants, or those of other federal agencies, acting undercover in extremist organizations involved in the Capitol riot? And did the FBI, or other agencies, have any foreknowledge of plans for the riot?

This should be one important issue to be investigated by Nancy Pelosi’s new select committee on the January 6 riot. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
21 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gary Von Neida
2 months ago

If no one looks under the bed no one can be sure the missing sock is not there. Why should the F.B.I. investigat themselves?

Kate Ferris
Kate Ferris
2 months ago
Reply to  Gary Von Neida

AND the SOCK will be lost forever to gather dust! 😡

Pgb
Pgb
2 months ago

FBI has shown that they cannot be trusted. It is a shame that this once trusted and revered government agency has become just another weaponized tool.

Sharon
Sharon
2 months ago
Reply to  Pgb

I agree Pgb, Sad but true. The DOJ is just as bad and the intel. Now their after our military.

Murphmeister
Murphmeister
2 months ago

As a lawyer, I concur that unindicted co-conspirator does not per se mean FBI agents instigated the incursion, but it does beg the question that if the FBI had inside information about planning, did it transmit this information to Capitol Hill security and, if it did, why then were security forces so ill-prepared about what they knew or should have known would occur?

I have maintained for months that Trump supporters were played for saps and suckers for they gave Pelosi et als the optics and pretext for becoming tyrannical to allegedly save the republic. This select committee will be Democrat farce.

Pidiusmcret
Pidiusmcret
2 months ago
Reply to  Murphmeister

The stealing of the 2020 election was a well planned, financed, and executed scheme the evil doers where not going to allow VP to call a failed election throwing it into the House of Representatives where Trump would win. The capitol incursion was a set up by the schemers to prevent it from happening.

Micala
Micala
2 months ago

If the FBI had any part in the D.C. Break In, it is at the request of the most ANTI-AMERICAN WOMAN IN CONGRESS, Nancy Pelosi! She was the backbone of the DC Break In because she needed to IMPEACH DJT ONE MORE TIME! The only way to do that was to make it look like a bunch of Trump Supporters broke into the Capitol and destroyed property! That way Pelosi could blame DJT for inciting his followers to break in, thus giving her a reason to Impeach him!

Her plan almost worked but the BLM members were hilarious trying to pull off a Trump Supporter look. You could see immediately how fake they looked and their behaviors were more BLM and Antifa, DEFINITELY NOT TRUMP SUPPORTERS!

Anyone who saw many of the videos shot that day of the people there, can tell immediately that the Trump Supporter imposters were very obvious and comical — nothing like REAL TRUMP SUPPORTERS AT ALL. It would have been comical but when that young exMilitary woman was shot and died, Pelosi’s plan turned into MANSLAUGHTER AND A TRAGEDY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!

The only one really responsible for that BREAK IN IS PELOSI — because of her HATE For DJT! She may have utilized the FBI to make it look more real, but the FBI did not instigate that Break In — Pelosi did!

Now she has formed a House Committee to supposedly investigate that day. How convenient is that? By leading that Committee she can direct the path of investigation and make sure any evidence against her is hidden by moving the direction they are investigating.

I sincerely hope and pray that Pelosi screws up and evidence is found linking her to that Break In and the death of that young woman! Manslaughter doesn’t even cover the damage that old hag has done to our Nation!

John Baughman
2 months ago
Reply to  Micala

At what level do we even start looking for the anti-American individuals, who would have us(we the people) join them in destroying this country!

Elizabeth Estrada aka CHIAKIA

LISTEN UP…IT was MORE of a PROTEST. The PEOPLE Had NO GUNS. NO SWORDS. IS a SAMURAI WARRIOR or GOD’S REINFORCEMENT TEAM Suppose to FIGHT …DEMONS and FALLEN ANGELS without their SWORDS/WEAPONS???? I THINK NOT. The CAPITOL AMERICAN PEOPLE were UNARMED. MY TEAM Does NOT FIGHT UNARMED PEOPLE…DEMONS or FALLEN ANGELS. From SamuraiQueen. 😄😄😄

nemo
nemo
2 months ago

January 6, 2021 was to set up Trump… the “mob” did not march from where the rally was held … the mob was waiting for the signal … The issue is, who gave the signal to advance on the capitol…after Trump “fired up” the attendees at his rally…

Pawn
Pawn
2 months ago

This is so easy to tear apart. Lets start.
But, notes the USA Today report, “that theory relies on a false assumption: that anyone identified as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in charging documents is a government agent.””
1) USA is NOT a reputable source for wipping your a.. much less anything that requires any thinking.
2) lets look at this statement from the same quote above,
that theory relies on a false assumption: that anyone identified as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in charging documents is a government agent.”
I am not an expert in English as a journalist should be but I flunk this idiot. false assumption: that anyone identified as an “unindicted co-conspirator in charging documents is a governemnt agent” I never saw where anybody said that every unindictied co-conpirator was a government agent cause that is what this idiot journalist is saying. and apparently this author, Paul, didn’t have enough logic, nor made any atempt to show how this was a really stupid thing to say. Also using USA as a source, well I rest my case. Let’s go on.

In fact, legal experts say that term cannot be used to describe FBI agents or undercover government operatives. “
Cite asny legal expert that says this. But lets say that is true, you know just for fun, the FBI has never done any thing wrong/illegal. Wow what idiot would say something so stupid and an obvious lie. Let just look at what the FBI did during the Trump Russia collusion trial. We can go in either direction, either past this trump lies or to the past fro many lies like when Hoovers fbi was calling every dem a communist. Funny thing is that if you called every dem a nazi (not a communist but in reality there is no difference-you know the regular person suffers under both nazis and communists) today.
No this easily could have been an fbi setup to discredit the conseratives. we have seen this before and of course the media calling this a riot when they called blm/antifa peaceful protests even when the so called “news” showed the destruction and when there were killings the media tried to justify these terrible/illegal actions but when a total criminal, even one that had enough fentynal in his system to kill a ten horses died and this black person had a criminal record so long you needed a book to list it, died because he didn’t listen to cops, his family, including the parents whom never cared about him until money became available. Oh lets not forget the lies and total misrepresentation of the media. The media is the reason that some blacks are taking advantage of being violent, committing illegal activities, and getting away with it. Oh lets not forget these liberal paid-off croocked judges that should be hung when they don’t follow what they swore to in their oaths and let obvious criminals go and convict obvious innocent people.

Terry
2 months ago

I haven’t seen much of a reason to trust the FBI lately, at ALL!!!!

ConanTheRepublican
ConanTheRepublican
2 months ago
Reply to  Terry

Never forget, people…Comey voted for GUS HALL!!

Captain Cross
2 months ago

Um……….YUP!

ConanTheRepublican
ConanTheRepublican
2 months ago

The FBI, CIA and State Dept. were co-opted in the 50s and 60s by Soviet agents, and are infiltrated to this day with “useful idiots” as Lenin called them. Trump knew this, and in his second term, was going to flush the communist subversives FROM government. THIS is why Trump had to go, “by any means necessary”. Get a clue, buy a vowel–do something…but everyone needs to wake the fk up about what just happened to this country.

ConanTheRepublican
ConanTheRepublican
2 months ago

In essence, boys and girls, here’s our situation:

takeoverRome.jpg
Neverbeenadem
Neverbeenadem
2 months ago

Likely? Absolutely is the correct word. The “fbi” has sunk to the level of the mob, oh WAIT the MOB is at least patriotic, the fbi has joined the demoncrat communist party.

flashy0ne
flashy0ne
2 months ago

Not likely?? Let’s review the KNOWN facts: The “riot” was started by a “black shirted masked group DISCONNECTED from the ‘large mass’ of Trump supporters in front of the Capitol buildings. There were IDENTIFIED ANTIFA ‘leaders’ in the Capitol mob. The FBI had ‘agents/sleepers’ in the Capitol assault group. “IF” the FBI had sleepers in the crowd, it is OBVIOUS they were AWARE that something was VERY likely to happen. The Capitol Police OPENED THE DOORS TO ADMIT THE CROWD. THERE WAS NO BACK-UP CROWD CONTROL POLICE/AGENTS AVAILABLE — EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD BEEN WARNED/SUGGESTED BY BOTH THE PRESIDENT AND THE CAPITOL POLICE (and REFUSED by Nancy Pelosi). It would CERTAINLY seem reasonable to suspect (believe) this was a CONTRIVED “riot”!!

Truth
Truth
2 months ago

Need to pay close attention to the wording here. [According to USA Today, Robbins said that while it is possible FBI agents were acting undercover in extremist organizations involved in the Capitol riot, that “would not necessarily mean they had instigated the insurrection.”]. Note the word “necessarily“. Also have to ask yourself the question. If an individual in the report was a necessary part of the narrative, and they were a member of law enforcement, how else would you refer to them in the report, if not as an “unindicted co-conspirator”? You can’t refer to them as law enforcement or you blow their cover. The FBI has a long history of entrapment.

Pete
Pete
2 months ago

Let’s parse words…

The term instigated is implying a single individual would be culprit…

…was Antifa James Sullivan actually charged or was that KABUKI and charges subsequently dropped.

The JaydenX video proves ANTIFA instigation by John Sullivan…what’s on the other 14,000 hours of video evidence…

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  Pete

I believe that the reason they won’t show the videos because investigators would be able to identify both FBI and non Trump followers such as ANTIFA and BLM in them. I also believe that it would show their participation in the “riot”.


People, Places & Things