Police clear the U.S. Capitol Building with tear gas as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather outside, in Washington, January 6, 2021.
Stephanie Keith | Reuters
WASHINGTON — The FBI said Friday that there was no indication that individuals associated with antifa disguised themselves as pro-Trump supporters in order to provoke the mob at the U.S. Capitol, a claim repeated by several Republican lawmakers.
When asked if the FBI had uncovered such efforts, Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono told reporters on a call, “We have no indication of that, at this time.”
Earlier this week, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona suggested that the left-wing extremist group tried to frame Trump supporters by intensifying the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally.
Hours after the crowd descended on the Capitol in an effort to derail congressional proceedings to tally electors’ votes and confirm Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 election, Gaetz told the House floor that he had read “compelling evidence” that some of the rioters were from antifa.
“The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group Antifa,” Gaetz said.
The Washington Times article has since been removed from the publication’s website.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to members of the media outside the hearing of Michael Cohen February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
In a four-part tweet on Thursday, Brooks wrote that “evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack.”
“Evidence, much public, surfacing that many Capitol assaulters were fascist ANTIFAs, not Trump supporters,” Brooks wrote.
Gosar wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the attack on the U.S. Capitol had “all the hallmarks of Antifa provocation.”
The attack on the Capitol left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.
The FBI asked the public on Thursday to help identify people who took part in the riots.
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