In the investigation into the attack on the Capitol in Washington, the Federal Police FBI is now investigating the alleged communication between the rioters and members of Congress or their employees. As reported by the news channel CNN, investigators checked whether the mob – knowingly or unconsciously – received help from the Capitol. Neither the Department of Justice nor the FBI made any official statements. The representatives of the authorities, who expressed themselves anonymously, also emphasized that the possible existence of such communication data – so-called metadata – does not yet constitute misconduct or even a criminal offense, according to the broadcaster. If the suspicions are confirmed, the investigators could apply for a court order to examine the content of the communication.
Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.
It is still unclear whether the authorities were able to view text messages of the 300 accused so far, in which they reported to one another about alleged contacts with congress members or employees before the attack on the congress, or whether metadata also substantiated such communication.
FBI Director Christopher Wray was buttoned up
The security authorities had initially identified cellular data of those people who were not authorized to be in the Capitol using the exclusion principle. The collection of this metadata is allowed. The actions of the security agencies were questioned by several senators at the Congressional hearing of FBI Director Christopher Wray this week. Republicans Josh Hawley and Mike Lee expressed concern that investigators might exceed their powers. Wray showed himself to be buttoned up in this matter for reasons of investigative tactics.
Shortly after January 6th, reports of possible support for the rebels by individual Republicans were reported. The reason for this was indications that there were conspicuous groups of visitors in the Capitol before the attack, which are actually prohibited due to the pandemic. The intruders appeared to be very familiar with the Capitol, after observations by several Democrats. John Garamendi, a Democrat from California, said if Congress members found supportive of violent criminals who wanted to prevent the democratic transfer of power to Joe Biden, they would lose their mandate and face indictment.
The police responsible for security in Congress, meanwhile, requested that the National Guard continue to be deployed in the Capitol due to the still tense situation. If they were accepted, the soldiers would remain on duty until May. The mission was originally supposed to end next week. The Capitol Police announced on Wednesday that there were indications of a renewed attack on the Capitol for March 4th. But the situation remained calm.
Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell, one of the accusers in the impeachment trial against Donald Trump, has now sued the former president in the Washington District Court for inciting a riot. The lawsuit is also directed against Trump’s son Donald Jr., Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s attorney, and MP Mo Brooks. All four had spoken at the January 6 rally before the attack began.