FBI Director Christopher Wray described the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6 as "domestic terrorism" during a Senate panel hearing on Tuesday.
"It's got no place in our democracy and tolerating it would make a mockery of our nation's rule of law,” Wray told senators. “That siege was criminal behavior plain and simple and it’s behavior that we—the FBI—views as domestic terrorism.”
The FBI, however, did not have credible threat reports of a pre-planned attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, he told lawmakers. Wray and other law enforcement agencies have faced criticism and questions for why authorities were so unprepared for the breach.
The acting chief of the Capitol Police said that a Jan. 5 report from the FBI was handed to investigators in the police force and to the agency's intelligence unit but wasn't sent up the chain of command.
In the hearing, Wray continued to say that so far, 300 people have been arrested by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. More people are being charged with crimes related to the Capitol breach nearly every day, he added.
"January 6th was not an isolated event," the FBI chief remarked. "The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing." Wray cited alleged "militia violent extremism" as well as "racially motivated violent extremism," but he added that FBI does not consider the Proud Boys a domestic terrorist group
Going a step further, Wray asserted that it is "a top concern and remains so for the FBI," adding that domestic terrorism is comparable to al-Qaeda and the ISIS terrorist groups. Later, he noted that domestic terrorism arrests have increased for militia extremists, racially motivated extremists, and anarchist extremists.
Wray told senators that in the midst of an FBI investigation, Sicknick's cause of death has not yet been determined.
And for whether there were foreign actors involved, Wray told senators that "it’s possible, but we haven’t seen any evidence of that."
As the congressional push to root out alleged domestic extremists expands, more than 150 human rights organizations called on Congress not to expand the proposed expansion of terrorism-related legal authority.
Speaking to Fox News, Greenwald said he hopes the crackdown will expose the mistaken view "that the way to understand Washington is Democrat versus Republican, and that you side with one team and believe they are on your side in defending your interests, and the other team is your enemy."