Miranda Devine of The New York Post reported on Tuesday that Steven D’Antuono, formerly in charge of the bureau’s Washington field office, told lawmakers behind closed doors at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that at least one informant was communicating with his FBI handler as he entered the Capitol.
D’Antuono reportedly testified that his office was aware before the Jan 6 riot that some of their informants would be at the “Stop the Steal” rally at DC's elipse, where President Donald Trump spoke. However, D’Antuono claimed that he only learned afterwards that informants run by other field offices were also at the Capitol.
He added that as a result, the Washington field office asked FBI headquarters “…to do a poll or put out something to people saying w[ere] any CHSs involved,” so they could find out how large the FBI’s surveillance operations were at the Capitol on Jan 6.
According to D’Antuono, responses from FBI headquarters revealed which field offices had planted confidential informants into the crowd which included at least one paid informant from the Kansas City field office who was in communication with his FBI handler while the crowd surged into the Capitol, “..saying that they were going in. They were trying to stop some of the action happening and they left or whatnot.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), described D’Antuono’s testimony as “extremely concerning” in a letter written to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday. Jordan wrote, that the testimony suggests that “the FBI cannot adequately track the activities and operations of its informants, and that it lost control of its CHSs present at the Capitol on January 6.”
“These revelations reinforce existing concerns, identified by Special Counsel [John] Durham, about the FBI’s use of, and payment to, CHSs who have fabricated evidence and misrepresented information.
Jordan added, “The Justice Department Inspector General also identified critical problems in the FBI’s CHS program including the FBI’s failure to fully vet CHSs and the FBI’s willingness to ignore red flags that would call into question an informant’s reliability.”
Jordan requested that Wray provide a “substantive briefing” on how the FBI used paid informants on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as “…any specific guidelines or admonishments that were provided to FBI CHSs prior to deploying” along with all debriefing documents from Jan 6 riot informants.
According to The Post, former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund has previously said that the FBI also had at least 18 undercover agents in the crowd plus another 20 from the Department of Homeland Security.
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