Are Feds Investigating Trump For Inciting Jan. 6 Attack? FBI Director Won’t Say

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill June 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Wray fielded a wide range of questions, includin... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill June 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Wray fielded a wide range of questions, including several about the January 6th Capitol riot. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The FBI director kept quiet Thursday on whether federal authorities were investigating former President Donald Trump for his role inciting the attack on Congress on Jan. 6.

Pressed repeatedly by members of the House Judiciary Committee  — who referenced Trump’s call for supporters to show up for a “wild” time on Jan. 6, and his speech that day urging supporters to “fight like hell” — FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to get into specifics.

“I’m not sure there’s a whole lot I can add on that subject,” Wray told Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) after the congresswoman read Trump’s statements and asked if the bureau had referred Trump’s “words and deeds” to the Justice Department.

Jackson Lee pushed for more: “I asked if you referred these actions or deeds of the president — you’re the investigatory agency — to the Department of Justice.”

But Wray wasn’t biting.

“I’m not aware of any investigation that specifically goes to that, but we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of investigations related to Jan. 6 involving lots and lots of different pieces of it, and I want to be careful not to speak with absolutes about a massive investigation,” he said.

Later, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) pressed on the same question, comparing the hundreds of federal prosecutions undertaken so far to going after Al Capone but instead charging “the people that do the bootlegging in the street.”

Cohen asked if the FBI had subpoenaed White House records for phone calls on the day of the riot, or of meetings Trump, Roger Stone and others may have taken with people involved in the attack.

“Well, again, congressman, somewhat along the lines of something I said earlier, because we have not one but now close to 500 pending criminal cases, all of which are in the hands of judges who feel very strongly about how much I discuss pending cases, I want to be careful about that,” Wray said.

He cited the conspiracy charges that the feds have brought against several dozen defendants in the Jan. 6 case. Cohen cut him off.

“I’m talking about Mr. Big, Number 1,” he said. “Have you gone after the people who incited the riot?”

“I don’t think it’d be appropriate for me to be discussing whether or not we are or aren’t investigating specific individuals,” Wray said. “I just don’t think that’s appropriate.”

“I’ll accept that and understand that, but I would urge you to do it,” Cohen replied.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: