Special counsel could use Trump's Waco rally as evidence against him: Former FBI official
President Trump concludes his campaign speech at the rally in the Bojangle's Coliseum. (Jeffery Edwards / Shutterstock.com)

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith should look to former President Donald Trump's rally in Waco, Texas last weekend for evidence that the former president had intent to incite the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, argued former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC Monday.

This comes as Trump faces sharp criticism for his choice of venue, which some security experts fear he did purposely to invoke the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco by federal agents, a longtime battle cry of antigovernment militia groups.

"I don't work at the FBI," said anchor Nicolle Wallace. "But if I did, these aren't dots on some Trump Derangement Syndrome sort of delusion. There is a direct line in black and white. Roger Stone dedicates his book to the Branch Davidians. The Branch Davidians are viewed as martyrs by groups that celebrate them in black and white, in ink, or online, the Three Percenters and the right-wing militias. The right-wing militias proudly organized the participation of their members in the January 6th insurrection. Donald Trump rolls footage of January 6th, puts his hand over his heart and pays tribute to them, redefining patriotism in America with a direct line again, not a conspiracy theory, in black and white, from Stone to the Branch Davidians to the militia groups to the insurrection to the [potential] Republican nominee for president in 2024. What do you think is happening in the FBI to protect us from that direct line?"

"Well, yeah, I have had the same thought myself," said Figliuzzi. "First, let me dispel the notion that anything significantly changed in terms of how the FBI can operate post-January 6th. I think many people, if you can ask them, hey, do you think have gotten better in terms of addressing domestic terrorism after January 6th, do you think people changed the rules? There is no evidence of that whatsoever. We have no domestic terrorism law and I don't believe, unless there is a secret memo from DOJ, I don't believe the operational guidelines for the FBI have changed one iota with regard to the domestic terrorism program."

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"Boy, do I hope that special council Jack Smith pressed "record" this weekend, Saturday night, for the Waco rally, because I hope he tries to introduce into evidence — I don't know if he will succeed, but I hope he tries to introduce into evidence former President Trump playing footage of January 6th at his rally," Figliuzzi continued. "And I hope he gets into evidence statements like 'death and destruction' with regard to the case [in New York]. I hope he gets into evidence the picture of Trump about to swing a baseball bat at [Manhattan District Attorney] Alvin Bragg's head. I hope all of that goes into evidence for mindset and context, because that's what Trump is doing."

"I am pleased that John Heilemann has drawn that line for us, that many people are unaware of what happened at Waco and the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building two years later by a guy named Timothy McVeigh, who was simply there at Waco observing what happened and tried to get retribution when he blew up the federal building with a day care center in it," added Figliuzzi. "With regard to what is the FBI thinking about right now, one question is, who was at Waco Saturday night in the crowd? Who is the next Timothy McVeigh that's going to act on the rhetoric and the incitement of violence of Donald Trump and do something horrible? Next week? Next year?"

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