GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made a top FBI official noticeably uncomfortable when he pressed her on what role the agency may have played in the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
The Republican relentlessly questioned FBI Assistant Executive Director Jill Sanborn during her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday on matters to which American people deserve an answer.
“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked.
“Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods,” Sanborn answered.
Her response right off the bat appeared to be an admission that the FBI had some presence or even involvement that day.
Cruz then asked the broader question, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6? Yes or no.”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” replied Sanborn.
CRUZ: “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th?”
“I can’t answer that.” pic.twitter.com/UgD9mQVLkP
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 11, 2022
“Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?” Cruz then queried.
Sanborn would not say.
The senator continued, “Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on Jan. 6?”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said.
“Ms. Sanborn, who is Ray Epps?” the Texan asked.
“I’m aware of the individual, sir. I don’t have the specific background to him,” Sanborn answered.
Senator @tedcruz Going Over The Footage Of Ray Epps On January 5th and 6th
Senator Cruz: “Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a FED?”
Jill Sanborn: “Sir, I cannot answer that question.” pic.twitter.com/yKJSHUr1eL
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 11, 2022
Cruz recounted that Epps, who is from Arizona, was captured on video among a crowd in Washington, D.C., the night of Jan. 5, 2021, yelling, “Tomorrow, we need to get into the Capitol! Into the Capitol!”
It was such strange behavior, the senator observed. People yelled back, “No!”
They then started chanting, “Fed, Fed, Fed!”
GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky posted a video of it in October and tweeted, “I just played this video for AG Merrick Garland [during a House hearing]. He refused to comment on how many agents or assets of the federal government were present in the crowd on Jan 5th and 6th and how many entered the Capitol.”
I just played this video for AG Merrick Garland. He refused to comment on how many agents or assets of the federal government were present in the crowd on Jan 5th and 6th and how many entered the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/lvd9n4mMHK
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 21, 2021
So the attorney general himself would not answer the question either.
On Tuesday, Cruz asked, “Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?”
“Sir, I cannot answer that question,” Sanborn responded.
Cruz next showed photographs allegedly showing Epps whispering to some protesters, who then proceeded to tear down a barricade around the Capitol.
“Did Mr. Epps urge them to tear down the barricades?” he asked.
Once again, Sanborn said she could not answer the question.
Finally, Cruz pointed out that Epps was originally among those pictured on an FBI wanted notice in the days immediately after Jan. 6.
In fact a cash reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Epps, the senator said.
However, “magically,” by July, Epps had disappeared from the public posting, Cruz noted.
Epps does not appear in the list maintained by USA Today of those charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 protest.
Cruz closed his line of questioning saying, “Ms. Sanborn, a lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal and violent conduct on Jan. 6.”
“Did federal agents or those in service of federal agents actively encourage violent and criminal conduct on Jan. 6?” he asked.
“Not to my knowledge, sir,” Sanborn replied.
Jan. 6 is not the only time that FBI informants were allegedly involved in a political operation.
BuzzFeed News reported in July 2021 that prosecutors revealed there were a dozen informants working on a case involving the alleged 2020 plot by Michigan militia members to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her refusal to loosen COVID restrictions.
“Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them,” the report said.
Then, of course, there was the FBI’s use of an informant to spy on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 in an effort to find connections to Russia.
The New York Times reported in May 2019 that FBI informant Stefan Halper met with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in London in September of 2016.
His bureau handlers instructed Halper to make the connection with Papadopoulos, who was put up in a five-star hotel and lured to London by the offer of $3,000 to write a policy paper on a Mediterranean natural gas pipeline project in which he was an expert, according to the report.
When they met, Halper immediately questioned him about whether Russia was helping the Trump campaign.
Papadopoulos told The Western Journal in June 2019 that he believed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators “were simply looking to cover up surveillance abuse of the Obama administration upon the Trump team.”
Was the FBI up to strange doings again on Jan. 6?
Sanborn’s responses to Cruz’s questions certainly suggests the agency was.
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