The FBI hasn’t found any evidence that the January 6 assault on the US Capitol was part of an organized plot to overturn the election results, Reuters reported, citing law-enforcement officials.
The officials also said that the FBI has “so far found no evidence” that former President Donald Trump or “people directly around him were involved in organizing the violence,” Reuters reported.
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former law-enforcement official familiar with the investigation told Reuters. “There was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”
More than 570 participants have been arrested by federal officials. Investigators have found that groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys did plan ahead of time to break into the Capitol, but they didn’t engage in much planning beyond that step. Reuters reported that 40 of the defendants are being prosecuted on conspiracy charges, implying a certain amount of planning and coordination.
But prosecutors have generally shied away from alleging a broader plot. Senior Department of Justice officials do not intend to bring forward seditious-conspiracy charges or even racketeering charges, which are commonly used against organized criminal gangs.
A Democratic congressional source told Reuters that senior lawmakers who have been briefed on the FBI’s investigation find the results credible.
Though the FBI has not found an organized plot or direct involvement by Trump, that doesn’t mean that Trump didn’t play an important role in instigating the violence. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” after he spent weeks promoting conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election. On January 6, Trump gave a speech on The Ellipse where he urged supporters to march on the Capitol.