FBI official says field office agents are whining about prosecuting Jan. 6 attackers: Nicolle Wallace
FBI Director Christopher Wray tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that Russia is still trying to interfere in US elections (AFP Photo/Saul LOEB)

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace started her show Monday with an exclusive bit of information that FBI field offices are staffed with agents miffed over the prosecutions of the Jan. 6 attackers, feeling that what they did was nothing more than misdemeanors. It was reported last week by NBC News that one former FBI official sent a letter to Paul Abbate, who is now the No. 2 official at the bureau.

According to the former official speaking to Wallace, the agents in field offices don't think prosecuting the Jan. 6 defendants is all that important, but they're doing it anyway.

"Resistance that does not amount to outright refusal, but rather complaining about the focus on Jan. 6th when many of the cases being prosecuted are misdemeanors," she said of the official. "This official tells us they keep repeating talking points and that the violence from the Black Lives Matter protests is not being taken as seriously as the Jan. 6 attack."

The Jan. 6 attack was a coordinated effort states and in Washington, D.C. to attack the U.S. government, intimidate or kill elected officials and overthrow an election decided by Americans. Black Lives Matter burned down a Wendy's and other businesses randomly.

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Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher Wray is being criticized for lying to Congress about what he knew of the threats ahead of Jan. 6 was revealed in the public hearing on Thursday that the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshal's Service and the White House were all informed about the violence being planned for Jan. 6.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI official, has remained cautious about the FBI over the past year, waiting for all of the facts to be presented. That has ended in the past several weeks, as he's highlighting the "crisis of credibility" under which the FBI director is suffering.

He also pointed out a kind of fear developing "that the senior most leaders of the FBI and even at other intel agencies as we continue to learn like every day, who knew what and when and that it was a lot more than we thought they knew at the time proceeding Jan. 6. I fear that those leaders are not grasping the gravity of this moment in terms of the future of their organizations. What I mean by this is it's time for complete transparency. It's time to come out and say we dropped this ball and here's why."

He noted that both Wray and the head of the Washington Field official told the public that they lacked specific intelligence ahead of Jan. 6. The reality is they not only knew but they were briefing the law enforcement community for as much as two hours on Jan. 5.

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"So, which is it? You lack specificity or you had the intelligence to do something and somehow it didn't happen?" asked Figliuzzi. "I think it's going way up the chain here even to involve political suppression of anybody who might have wanted to take further actions to secure the Capitol. Those are the questions that need to be answered and they need to be answered now, not waiting for the committee to release a 1,000-page report, months from now."

Figliuzzi went on to say he always pays close attention to Wray when he testifies and he doesn't see the full, responsive answers that he expects from Wray.

"If the attorney general guidelines of conducting domestic terror investigations need to be changed, say it. But he hasn't said it," Figliuzzi continued. "If they dropped the ball because somebody at the White House told them don't take action to enhance security at the Capitol. Don't pound your fists on the table for capitol police to do something. Then say it. But we're not hearing it yet and it's eroding the credibility of the institution. That's why so many agents are saying this is painful. We can't take the beating every day and appear to be political, but yet they've become politicized."

Former FBI counsel Andrew Weissmann said that the Jan. 6 response has been a stark contrast to the Black Lives Matter protests that happened over the summer of 2020, in which Wray, the deputy attorney general, and the attorney general all claimed: "they were all over it."

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"The deputy director of the FBI said that it's the most significant domestic terrorism event facing the bureau," Weissmann recalled. "That was the Black Lives Matter protest. And yet when January 6th happened, the FBI really was asleep at the switch and it wasn't an intelligence failure. It was a failure to act on the intelligence that they had and I find that Chris Wray's testimony was exactly what you do not want from public officials. It lacked candor and fulsomeness in saying what exactly they knew and where their failures were. How do you expect an institution to become better and to make sure this doesn't happen again if you don't have leaders who are going to be willing to acknowledge what went wrong and to figure out how to fix it?"

Wray has been flying under the radar and refusing to say anything about Jan. 6, even when it comes to the FBI itself and the sensitivities of the agents who are supportive of the attack.

Ironically, the agent's association claimed that FBI agents are allowed to have their own opinions as long as they continue to enforce the law. Wallace asked Peter Strzok about it. He was removed after Donald Trump targeted him as being a supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Wallace said that it isn't even what the concern is, it's that Wray is failing to fill the vacuum and point the FBI ship in the direction of saying the insurrection is "bad."

See the discussion below or at this link.

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