Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, blasted the FBI’s lack of transparency after a senior official dodged his questions on Jan. 6 during a Senate hearing Tuesday.
“A lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal and violent conduct on Jan. 6. … Did federal agents or those in service of federal agents actively encourage violent and criminal conduct on Jan. 6?”
“Not to my knowledge, sir,” said Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director for the FBI’s national security branch.
Fox News host Sean Hannity said Cruz’s questioning should not have been dodged.
“Why couldn’t there be a blanket denial that that’s not who we [the FBI] are?” he asked. “That’s not the way we act?”
“It should be very easy for the FBI to say no. No federal agents participated in violent crimes,” Cruz said on “Hannity.” “No, no federal agents actively incited, encouraged others to commit violent crimes. If they were doing their jobs, those would be very easy questions to answer. They refused to answer those.”
The FBI refuses to be held accountable for many things, Cruz said, adding that its agents are “arrogant.”
“Unfortunately, under Joe Biden, we have seen an incredibly partisan Department of Justice,” Cruz said. “And both the Department of Justice and the FBI have an arrogance that they are not accountable to anyone, that they can stonewall.”
Cruz discussed the possibility of a theory promoted by some that there were FBI agents at the Capitol that encouraged rioting. One of the main figures around this theory is Ray Epps, who has denied that he was affiliated with the FBI or working for any law enforcement agency.
“Was Ray Epps a fed?” Cruz asked Sanborn at the Senate hearing.
“Sir, I cannot answer that question,” Sanborn replied.
“There have been a lot of videos online of Ray Epps … They’re videos of him urging the crowd, saying, ‘We should go to the Capitol, but not just go to the Capitol, we must go in the Capitol.’ In other words, urging them to break the law,” Cruz told Hannity. “And he keeps saying, ‘In the Capitol, in the Capitol.’ And the entire crowd starts chanting, ‘Fed, Fed, Fed, Fed.’ It’s a very puzzling and disturbing video. The next day, on Jan. 6, there’s a video of him talking to one of the people at that rally, whispering in his ear. Five seconds later that person is pushing barricades down — the natural inference being that this individual urged him to break the law.”
“And so I asked the FBI … is Mr. Epps, an agent of the FBI, is [he an] informant of the FBI? And she stonewalled, refused to answer. We know the FBI put him out on the list of people they wanted information about and then magically he disappeared. There needs to be transparency, and the Biden administration needs to fess up. Is this a politicized law enforcement operation that is targeting the enemies of the president? And did they actively encourage and solicit illegal conduct?”