National Security

Feds looking at communications between lawmakers, Capitol rioters: report

Federal investigators are looking at communications between members of Congress and the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, a U.S. official told CNN.

The investigators, according to CNN, have looked at communications between alleged rioters discussing their associations with Congress and includes indications of contact with lawmakers. 

However, it so far has not found that any lawmakers were involved with the riot or personally helped any of the rioters, the official said. 

Authorities have been investigating the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 for months and have been able to arrest hundreds of those involved in the riot that led to the deaths of five people.

Officials are still arresting those who stormed the Capitol but are going to start focusing on those who planned the attack, who funded them and what connection, if any, lawmakers had. 

The FBI and Justice Department declined to comment to CNN.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) accused Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of giving a “large” tour of the Capitol to people a few days before the attack, but no concrete evidence has been released that her tour was linked to the riot. 

Authorities are now looking at video footage of tours to see if there was any connection between tours and the rioters. If connections are found between rioters and lawmakers, authorities could obtain a warrant to see the communications, CNN reported.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told CNN that he asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the connections as well since he believes it will have an easier time obtaining the information, as lawmakers can stall the FBI’s work with the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, which protects members of Congress from lawsuits over speech made during legislative acts.

Republican lawmakers who supported former President Trump’s election conspiracy theory claims have been chastised, with Democratic lawmakers believing they had some involvement with or helped incite the riot that occurred.

There has been no evidence so far that a lawmaker had any involvement in the riot and officials are not looking at any one lawmaker at the moment, the official told CNN.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An initial version of this story misidentified agencies responsible for the investigation of the Capitol riot. It was corrected at 9:07 a.m.

Tags Capitol riot Donald Trump Sheldon Whitehouse Steve Cohen

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