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Insider warned: Some in FBI were ‘sympathetic’ to Jan. 6 rioters

A week after Jan. 6, a person warned a senior FBI official that a “sizable percentage” of bureau employees “felt sympathetic” to the rioters.


Donald Trump’s recent offensive against the FBI has been downright ugly. As regular readers know, the former president has lashed out wildly at the bureau and its agents, calling them “corrupt,” accusing them of “atrocities,” and telling his followers that the federal law enforcement officials are “mobsters,” “vicious monsters” and “a real threat to democracy.”

Part of the problem with the Republican’s hysterics is his motivation: Trump is under a variety of felony investigations, so he’s desperately trying to convince the public — without any evidence, of course — that federal law enforcement is comprised of a bunch of politicized criminals.

But the other part of the problem is the stunning irony of the circumstances, given just how politically conservative the FBI has been for decades. CNBC published this report yesterday:

A week after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a person warned a senior FBI official that a “sizable percentage of the employee population” of the agency “felt sympathetic to the group that stormed the Capitol,” according to an email made public Thursday. The sender, whose name is redacted, told then-FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate that those FBI employees believed the riot was “no different than the [Black Lives Matter] protests of last summer,” the email shows.

A related NBC News report added that the unnamed emailer complained that FBI agents believed the Jan. 6 attack had generated so much attention due to “political correctness.”

The message from early last year was titled “Internal Concerns,” and was made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

It’s an open question as to who sent the warning. The person was apparently familiar with FBI operations, and was in communications with many FBI agents, though he or she may not have been an FBI employee.

That said, as CNBC’s report added, the writer listed several examples of alleged FBI sympathy with the rioters, including “a Facebook page full of #StoptheSteal content” from a senior analyst who’d recently retired.

“These are not one-off events — they are representative of a larger group within the organization,” the message’s author alleged.

To be sure, this is unsettling. Making matters worse is the degree to which reports like these dovetail with related revelations.

The Washington Post reported yesterday, for example, after the latest Jan. 6 committee hearing, that the “Secret Service had warnings earlier than previously known that supporters of President Donald Trump were plotting an armed attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to records revealed in a congressional hearing Thursday.”

The article added, “The evidence presented at the hearing adds the Secret Service to a long list of national security agencies who received prescient warnings about the assault protesters planned for Jan. 6, yet failed to respond with urgency or cohesion to prevent the insurrection.”

In a piece for The Daily Beast today, David Rothkopf argued that the “existence of major elements within key federal law enforcement agencies that are sympathetic to the extreme right ... could be a fatal flaw in our system come future political upheavals.”