FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said he did not know the FBI had credible threat reports of a pre-planned attack on the Jan. 6 attack.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein noted that as early as Dec. 29, the FBI warned of the potential for armed demonstrators to target legislatures. Feinstein continued, saying the former Chief of Capitol police as well as the House and Senate Sergeants of Arms testified that they did not see the FBI’s warning on the eve of Jan. 6 about potential violence in the Capitol.
“When did you first receive intelligence about the possibility of an attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6?” Feinstein asked Wray. “And what happened to the process that people weren’t seeing the warnings?”
Wray replied, saying he did not see the FBI’s Norfolk Office’s warning, called a situational information report, that had been sent Jan. 5 by the Norfolk-based officials.
According to a report by The Washington Post, the Norfolk, Va office warned others in the bureau of concerning online chatter threatening violence. The Post said the office issued an explicit warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” which involved “dangerous plans.”
Wray testified that he wasn’t briefed on the report until much later, however, he said the document was passed within 40 minutes to the Capitol Police and other partners.
“I didn’t see that report, which was raw, unverified intelligence until some numbers of days after the 6th,” Wray said. “But again, that raw, unverified information was passed within, I think, 40 minutes to an hour to our partners, including the Capitol police, including Metro P.D., and not one, not two, but three different ways. One email, one verbal and one through the law enforcement portal. As to why the information didn’t flow to all the people within the various departments that they would prefer, I don’t have a good answer for that.”
The former Capitol Police chief testified that the report arrived via email after business hours the night before the riot, and he never saw it.
Wray, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, will remain as director as he serves what is supposed to be a 10-year term, the Biden administration announced last month.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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