FBI: No evidence antifa involved in Capitol riot
No evidence has been found that members of the left-wing antifa movement were involved in this week’s storming of the Capitol building, the FBI said Friday, contradicting a narrative pushed by some Trump allies.
“We have no indication of that at this time,” Washington Field Office assistant director Steven D’Antuono said during a briefing when asked about any potential involvement of antifa.
The term is used to refer to the loosely connected network of far-left activists who say they are fighting against what they perceive as fascism.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin separately said Thursday that investigators had not seen evidence of antifa presence.
Several figures on the right have attempted to pin fault for the mob that broke into the Capitol on Wednesday on antifa.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Wednesday claimed that left-wing agitators had disguised themselves as Trump supporters, citing a Washington Times story with false claims that was later retracted.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) also suggested on Twitter that the riot had “all the hallmarks of antifa provocation,” while Fox News host Laura Ingraham gave air to the baseless conspiracy on television.
Blaming antifa for apparent instances of right-wing violence, and claiming such members are creating “false flags,” has become a popular deflection for some conservative allies of the president.
Among those who have been identified from the Capitol riots are white nationalist and “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley, who is also known as Jake Angeli, and Nick Ochs, founder of the Hawaii chapter for the far-right group Proud Boys, among others.
–Updated on Jan. 10 1t 9:17 a.m.