NBC News on Monday revealed new information about the January 6th insurrection and what the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew about the attack, which supporters of President Donald Trump had openly plotted for weeks.
"The FBI director and other senior officials have consistently downplayed the intelligence value of social media posts by Trump supporters prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, suggesting the bureau had no 'actionable' warning that the Capitol would be targeted by a mob," NBC News reported Monday. "But according to a document entered into court records last week, an FBI agent acknowledged in a February investigative report that angry Trump supporters were talking openly in the days before the riot about bringing guns to the Capitol to start a 'revolution.'"
"A review of open source and social media posts leading up to and during the event indicates that individuals participating on the 'Stop the Steal,' rally were angered about the results of the 2020 presidential election and felt that Joseph Biden had unlawfully been declared 'President-Elect,'" FBI Special Agent Patricia Norden wrote. "Users in multiple online groups and platforms discussed traveling to the Capitol armed or making plans to start a 'revolution' on that day."
The posts were cited in the case of former NYPD officer Thomas Webster, who was indicted for his role in the insurrection. On Thursday, the Department of Justice released new video evidence it alleges shows Webster assaulting an officer.
NEW: Justice Dept. just released horrifying new footage from 1/6. Feds say this is ex-NYPD officer Thomas Webster (… https://t.co/Wj8BDJ6olI— Marshall Cohen (@Marshall Cohen) 1623966157.0
NBC News notes the FBI is not saying when the review of social media posts was conducted.
"To my knowledge, sir, we did not have actionable intelligence that indicated that hundreds of people were going to breach the Capitol or storm the Capitol,' Wray told Congress.
NBC noted questioning by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at the same House Oversight Committee hearing.
"Was this a failure to collect intelligence prior to the event, or was it a failure to act on intelligence that we may have had?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.
"I think what this shows is the challenge of getting sufficient information about what is out there on social media to be able to have the ability to distinguish between what we're calling sort of aspirational versus the intentional…It's sort of a wheat from the chaff [situation]," Wray responded.