The Justice Department and FBI are investigating whether Roger Stone, Alex Jones and other right-wing figures, may have played a role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, the Washington Post reported late Friday.
People familiar with the investigation told the Post that the probe into the potential role of Stone a now-pardoned former Trump adviser and Jones, a right-wing media host, is part of a broader look into the thinking and radicalization of Capitol rioters though it does not likely mean that those who promoted former president Donald Trump’s election falsehoods will face criminal charges.
“We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones and Ali Alexander,” a U.S. official told the Post.
Officials told the Post they are primarily examining who may have influenced rioters which could help inform an understanding of their intentions at trial.
Investigators are also considering whether any of those potential influencers bears enough responsibility to justify potential criminal charges, such as conspiracy or aiding the effort, officials told the Post.
Each of the three men weaponized their influence to peddle Trump’s election falsehoods.
The look into promoters of Trump’s false claims who may not have stepped inside the Capitol on the day of the attack but may have otherwise inflamed and organized rioters, shows how investigators are sifting through how rhetoric and election conspiracy theories played a role in inciting the pro-Trump mob.
Stone and Alexander– who was a Stop The Steal organizer — have credited themselves for hatching the idea for and executing the pro-Trump Stop the Steal campaign.
Stone and Jones also had preexisting ties with some members of the groups who have been charged for their involvement in the siege or for acts of violence at prior rallies, records reviewed by the Post show.
Stone was also recorded on video first reported by ABC News on Jan. 5 and 6 with several Oath Keepers militia members who he has said were providing security.
A New York Times investigation revealed that at least six people said to have provided security for Stone entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Both Stone and Jones have denied seeking anything more than peaceful protest after participating in events on the day of the attack, the Post said.
Stone even appeared to defend the Oath Keepers when he said in a Feb. 10 statement that he “saw no evidence whatsoever of illegal activity by any members” of the militia group during the riot.
The U.S. official and others familiar with the investigation told the Post that the role of Stone and Jones will likely be particularly instrumental in helping to build a fuller picture of the attack, regardless of whether they ultimately rise to the level of conspiracy or other crimes.