WASHINGTON, Tenn. (WKRN) – FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress Tuesday for the first time since the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Wray condemned the riot but defended his bureau’s handling of intelligence.
“As citizens, in a sense, we’re all victims of the January 6th assault,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wray said his agency is holding the suspects accountable with almost 300 arrests and more investigations underway in all but one field office.
“It’s behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism,” Wray said.
However, lawmakers who lived through the insurrection nearly two months ago still have a lot of concerns.
“I was surprised to learn the FBI did not issue a threat assessment before January 6th,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL said.
Durbin and other committee members focused on a Jan. 5 report from the Norfolk FBI office that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington the next day.
“The information was raw,” Wray said. “It was unverified.”
Wray said he did not see the report until after Jan. 6 but believes the field office properly shared it with other law enforcement agencies.
“Our folks made the judgment to get that information to the relevant people as quickly as possible,” Wray said.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-LA, wanted to know why entities like the National Guard were not utilized more.
“Clearly, our people were overrun by the nut jobs,” Kennedy said.
Wray did not have those specifics but said the attacks came from mostly “militia violent extremists,” some of which would be categorized as white supremacists.
“Do you have any evidence that the Capitol attack was organized by ‘fake Trump protesters?,'” Durbin asked.
“We have not seen evidence of that at this stage certainly,” Wray said.
Wray confirmed the same for antifa.
The FBI director warned the insurrection was not an isolated incident with the threat of domestic terrorism growing across the country.
Wray said the FBI’s greatest partner in investigating the attack has been the American people, helping the bureau identify hundreds of suspects with close to 300,000 digital tips.