FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that there is no evidence that left-wing extremist groups took part in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Wray’s comments came in response to a question posed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who along with other committee Democrats pressed Wray to expound on the threat of white supremacist domestic terrorism.
“When I look at what happened on Jan. 6, it appears that right-wing, white supremacist groups played an instrumental role in the violent assault. Is that your conclusion also?” Leahy asked Wray during Tuesday’s hearing on the FBI’s response to the attack on the Capitol.
The Senate has been investigating the circumstances that led supporters of then-President Donald Trump to breach the Capitol with the intent of disrupting the certification of last November’s presidential election results.
Wray said Tuesday that while the FBI does not look at violent extremism on a political spectrum, “a large and growing number of the people that we have arrested so far in connection with the [events of Jan. 6] are what we would call ‘militia violent extremists.’”
“And then there have been some already that have emerged, who I would have put in the racially motivated violent extremist bucket, again advocating for the superiority of the white race,” Wray said.
The senior senator from Vermont then asked Wray to clarify whether the FBI believes anti-fascist protesters, commonly called Antifa, incited violence during the storming of the Capitol.
“We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the [Jan. 6 violence],” Wray said. “That doesn’t mean we’re not looking and we’ll continue to look, but at the moment we have not seen that.”
Despite overwhelming evidence that the Jan. 6 attack was carried out by Trump supporters, Republican lawmakers and right-wing media organizations have promoted the false idea that left-wing extremists were actually behind the events.