The committee subpoenaed two white nationalists, Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, it described as leaders of the far-right "America First" or "Groyper" movement.
Both men rallied outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 last year while rioters waged their violent attack, according to the committee. In the weeks leading up to the Capitol riot, Fuentes and Casey spoke at events across the country, falsely claiming then-President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election due to widespread voter fraud.
Fuentes, a popular right-wing podcaster, organized or attended conspiratorial rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Washington, D.C., during that time, according to the committee. Casey participated in at least two of these events, the committee said.
The FBI is investigating hefty Bitcoin payments the two men each received from a foreign entity during that time, and those payments have piqued the Jan. 6 committee’s interest, as well.
“According to public reports, both Fuentes and Casey received tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer,” the committee said in a statement Wednesday, adding that the FBI is assessing "whether funds from this donor were linked to the Capitol attack or otherwise used to fund illegal activity.”
Research from the blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis found that a donor sent approximately $522,000 worth of Bitcoin on Dec. 8, 2020, to 22 separate addresses in a single transaction.
“Many of those addresses belong to far-right activists and internet personalities,” according to Chainalysis.
Making the story all the more mysterious are reports that the alleged donor died by suicide shortly after making the payments. According to The Associated Press, the Frenchman posted a suicide note on his blog saying he was chronically ill and wanted to leave his wealth to “certain causes and people.”
The Jan. 6 committee is eager to learn how and why two white nationalists who organized an assault on American democracy are among that select few.
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