The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday demanded answers from the Justice Department and the FBI over their preparation and response to the U.S. Capitol breach last month.
The panel has asked for additional information about what the agencies knew prior to the incident, the actions they took to address concerns, whether threat assessments were conducted about the risk of violence for Jan. 6, the agencies’ role in responding to the incident, and the agencies’ prosecutorial response following the event.
“Other individuals were identified in other parts of the country and their travel subsequently disrupted.”
D’Antuono said although the bureau receives such information, it has to determine the credibility and viability of the content.
“We have to separate the aspirational from the intentional and determine which of the individuals saying despicable things on the internet, just practicing keyboard bravado, or they actually have the intent to do harm in the ladder,” he said.
Both agencies and their law enforcement partners said they have been working tirelessly to crackdown on protesters who participated in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach, which left five people dead—one who was shot by a Capitol police officer inside the building, three others due to medical conditions on U.S. Capitol grounds, and a Capitol Police officer was confirmed dead on Jan. 7 due to injuries sustained while on duty responding to riots.
Griffin said that he and his friend didn’t enter the U.S. Capitol building at any time and remained on the steps outside the building during the breach. During that time, he led a group of protesters in prayer using a bullhorn “outside the Capitol, but up where the president is inaugurated at.”
Videos of the incident and other open-source materials corroborated Griffin’s statements, according to the affidavit.
Matt Braynard, former director of Data and Strategy for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, told The Epoch Times that he believes charges against the non-violent protesters on Jan. 6 should be dropped.
“Anybody that engaged in any violence on January 6, who may have assaulted a police officer or committed serious property damage or vandalism should face serious charges,” Braynard said.
“However, the vast majority of those people have not been charged with such crimes. They’ve been charged with simply walking through an open door to a public building, with no knowledge or no reason to expect that it would be illegal or forbidden.”
Braynard has written to the DOJ and FBI about his concerns of charging non-violent protesters, arguing that many of the protesters who entered the Capitol “reasonably believed they had permission” to enter.
He said that police officers “opened the protective fencing around the Capitol and stood aside as crowds entered the building.”
Other videos did show police officers telling protesters that they were not allowed to be there and asking protesters to leave the premises.
The FBI confirmed receipt of the Senate panel’s letter but did not provide further comments. The DOJ did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.