And other takeaways from Senators’ grilling of FBI Director Chris Wray.
Matt Cohen, March 2, 2021
Senators investigating the lack of police preparation that contributed to the January 6 Capitol ransacking by right-wing extremists grilled FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday about the intelligence the bureau had gathered, and with whom it had shared information prior to the attack.
Some lawmakers, though, used the opportunity to question Wray about the FBI’s domestic terrorism efforts. In his opening statement, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, spent more time asking Wray about far-left extremists. “How do you plan to make your left-wing anarchist domestic extremism program as robust as your right-wing and white supremacist domestic extremism program?” he asked, after spending several minutes listing instances of violence and rioting allegedly undertaken by Black Lives Matter protesters, Antifa, and anarchists the previous summer.
Wray sidestepped the trap, noting that the FBI doesn’t classify domestic terrorism as “right” or “left,” but rather looks at ideological motivations, such as white supremacy and anti-government or anti-immigrant sentiments.