FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday that the agency is pursuing potentially hundreds more suspects in the Capitol riot, calling the effort to find those responsible for the deadly assault “one of the most far-reaching and extensive” investigations in the bureau’s history, reports the New York Times. His assurances of how seriously the agency was taking the attack by a pro-Trump mob came as lawmakers pressed him and military commanders on why they did not do more to prevent the siege despite threats from extremists to commit violence.
Documents obtained by the committee showed that, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, top officials at the Defense Department received pleas for help from the Capitol Police chief, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, and other officials. But the National Guard did not arrive until 5:20 p.m., more than four hours after the Capitol perimeter had been breached. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a New York Democrat who chairs the Oversight Committee, confronted Wray with messages from the social media site Parler, which she said referred to threats of violence to the FBI more than 50 times before the attack. One message, which Maloney said Parler had sent to an FBI liaison on Jan. 2, was from a poster who warned, “Don’t be surprised if we take the Capitol building,” and “Trump needs us to cause chaos to enact the Insurrection Act.” Wray countered that he was unaware of the email exchange.