12 Questions the Justice Department and FBI Need to Answer About January 6

There is a good chance Republicans can take control of both houses of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. There is an even better chance they will wimp out and betray their supporters . . . again. This open letter is addressed to one especially disappointing group. 

—The Editors

Dear Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans:

Happy New Year! Hope you are ready and rested for the big political fights ahead in 2022. Republicans across the country are counting on you to stand tough against the Biden regime and your Democratic counterparts in advance of a potentially power-shifting election this November.

Just kidding.

Alas, informed Republicans know that even with all the uncertainties in the world, we can be certain that the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will always disappoint us. Even when you controlled this important committee for four years under a Republican president, you failed to fulfill one empty promise after another.

Remember all the promises to “get to the bottom” of Russiagate, the biggest political scandal and abuse of government power in history? (Well, until January 6.) 

Remember how you let Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Democratic activists hijack the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, which led to a humiliating and divisive showdown between the Supreme Court nominee and his half-baked accuser? 

Oh, and remember that lengthy investigative report you issued a few months later that accused people of lying to Congress and referred them to the Justice Department (which you purportedly oversee) on criminal charges but nothing ever happened?

Good times.

During the first year of the Biden Administration, you made nary a peep as Biden filled his cabinet with Obama loyalists and left-wing radicals. My favorite moment was when every member of the committee voted to advance the nomination of Lisa Monaco—Barack Obama’s hyperpartisan homeland security advisor, Russiagate architect, and former chief of staff to FBI Director Robert Mueller—to serve as deputy attorney general. She is what Andrew Weissmann was to Mueller when he was special counsel; the vengeful, Republican-hating prosecutor calling the shots behind the grandfatherly veneer of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

But don’t feel bad. Every Republican senator, except two, voted to confirm Monaco last April. As I wrote after her confirmation, “rather than act as any sort of barrier to protect America from the arsonist-in-chief hellbent on burning down every tradition, constitutional guardrail, and notion of common decency owed to fellow Americans, Senate Republicans are handing Joe Biden the matches.”

Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) were the only Republicans to vote against Monaco. But Cruz just stepped in a mound of political guano this week when he described the four-hour disturbance at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 as a “violent terrorist attack.” That comment was not only music to Monaco’s ears but pleased every January 6 propagandist on the Left from Joe Biden and FBI Director Christopher Wray—who also designated the protest an act of domestic terror—down to the average low-IQ CNN viewer.

Cruz’s remarks, which included high praise for Capitol Police, the agency responsible for the shooting death of an unarmed female veteran that afternoon, resulted in widespread condemnation on social media and by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. To quell the outrage, Cruz appeared on Carlson’s show Thursday evening to explain himself.

It did not go well.

Cruz confessed that his words were “sloppy” and misunderstood. People who attack police officers, Cruz insisted, are “terrorists” not the thousands of peaceful protesters in attendance on January 6. He spent a few minutes tossing a verbal word salad before an increasingly skeptical Carlson interrupted Cruz and confessed, “I just don’t believe you.”

Ouch.

The Texas senator and Republican presidential prospect, however, regained a bit of his footing at the end of the interview. After Carlson played footage of Ray Epps, a January 6 agitator suspected of being a government asset, Cruz said Epps’ provocative behavior “suggests he was working for the FBI.” Garland and the Justice Department, Cruz said, won’t answer whether Epps and other FBI informants and agents were involved with the events of January 6.

Well, this Tuesday, Cruz and the rest of you have a chance to ask again. And again. And again.

Top officials from the Justice Department and FBI are scheduled to testify before your committee during a hearing titled, “The Domestic Terrorism Threat One Year After January 6.” Matthew Olsen, the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s national security division (a reminder for Senator Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.]: that was the agency that prepared the unlawful FISA applications against Carter Page—seems like you forgot all about it), and Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, will undoubtedly present all sorts of dire assessments about the threat of domestic terrorists—also known as Trump voters—and urge Democrats to send more money and manpower to combat the dangerous scourge of QAnon shamans and Indiana meemaws.

So, here’s your opportunity to finally show some spinal steel after nearly six years of craven appeasement. Instead of wasting one second of your five-minute allotment thanking the Justice Department and FBI for terrorizing trespassers, might I suggest you immediately confront these constitutional malefactors with the following:

1) Why does the Justice Department consider 14,000 hours of surveillance video captured on January 6 by taxpayer-funded security cameras as “highly sensitive” government material? Why are even 30-second clips used in court proceedings under protective orders with strict rules about how defendants and their attorneys can view the evidence against them?

2) What is the status of the FBI’s lengthy investigation into the alleged “pipe bomber” and why, despite using every intrusive tool, including geofence warrants, to collect information on Capitol protesters, has the FBI not yet identified a suspect?

3) Is Ray Epps an FBI asset? If not, why has he not been charged despite clearly engaging in the same behavior that resulted in felony criminal charges against other January 6 participants?

4) Did the FBI run informants into alleged militia groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers before January 6? Can you confirm the New York Times reporting from September that disclosed at least two FBI informants were with the Proud Boys when they breached the first exterior barrier right before 1 p.m. on January 6?

5) Why is Stewart Rhodes—the founder of the Oath Keepers and “person one” in every indictment for the 20-defendant conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers—still not charged with any crime even though he clearly organized the alleged conspiracy and was on Capitol grounds on January 6?

6) Explain why the Justice Department, notwithstanding testimony to the contrary, had elite FBI forces stationed at Quantico the weekend before January 6. Hundreds of FBI agents were deployed to the area around the Capitol that morning and some entered the building with the first set of protesters who breached the actual building. Is this not a contradiction of what Justice Department and FBI officials previously testified under oath?

7) How many pre-trial detention orders has the Justice Department sought against January 6 defendants? How many remain behind bars right now? How many face nonviolent charges and have no criminal record? How can the Justice Department continue to ask for delays in trial dates for detained defendants—is this not a clear violation of the Sixth Amendment?

8) How many detainees have been held in solitary confinement conditions in the D.C. jail specifically used to house January 6 defendants?

9) Does any police officer face possible charges for excessive unlawful force, including the two D.C. Metro police officers who beat, punched, and maced Victoria White inside the lower west terrace tunnel on January 6?

10) Is there a formal investigation into the death of Rosanne Boyland outside that tunnel on January 6? Video and eyewitness accounts suggest she did not die of an accidental drug overdose but actually may have been the victim of police misconduct.

11) How many raids has the FBI conducted to arrest January 6 defendants and does this include Americans only charged with misdemeanors?

12) How much taxpayer money has the Department of Justice spent so far in what Merrick Garland called the agency’s largest investigation in history?

You get the drift. I hope.

Republican rank-and-file are fed up with feckless GOP leadership, and are starting to see the Capitol protest as more of an inside job than a spontaneous uprising incited by Donald Trump.

You won’t get answers from these officials but you can make a very public case that, one year later, the official narrative about January 6 looks quite dissimilar from the facts at hand.

If you need help, feel free to call Darren Beattie or myself.

We will be watching. 

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