Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s opinion of the January 6 riots changed again in a little over a week. At one point he suggested the attack at Capitol Hill was a terrorist attack, and now he’s trying to claim the FBI was secretly behind it.
During a Senate hearing, Cruz tried to ask Jill Sanborn, the Executive Assistant Director for the FBI’s National Security Branch very pointed questions about January 6.
And when she couldn’t answer, he took it as a kind of “gotcha” moment.
The American people deserve transparency from the DOJ & the FBI about January 6.\n\nFor months, I've been demanding answers & still to this day, their answers are:\n\n- \u201cI\u2019m not sure\u201d\n- \u201cI don\u2019t have the numbers\u201d\n- \u201cI don\u2019t have any information about that\u201d 1/xpic.twitter.com/fBE2jdDe0R— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz) 1641937892
There’s no doubt the FBI had their hand in a fair share of sketchy investigations under J. Edgar Hoover.
COINTELPRO infamously saw the organization covertly and illegally targeting groups such as feminist organizations, anti-war protesters and civil rights activists.
So would it be fair to assume the same thing is happening here?
I mean Ted Cruz is the worst but the FBI needs to actually answer this question. Dodging the question only fuels conspiracy theories. Just own up to what if anything you did or know.https://twitter.com/SteveGuest/status/1480966775168815106\u00a0\u2026— Ryan Grim (@Ryan Grim) 1641926376
Why did FBI\u2019s Jill Sanborn just say \u201cI can\u2019t answer that\u201d when Ted Cruz asked her if FBI agents participated in J6?— Paul A. Szypula (@Paul A. Szypula) 1641927347
So why didn't that FBI spokesperson just say "No" when Ted Cruz asked her if Epps was a Fed?https://twitter.com/AdamKinzinger/status/1481024974731284482\u00a0\u2026— T_p R_ck B_ng (@T_p R_ck B_ng) 1641943677
The big difference is claims of FBI involvement in the January 6 riots hinge on a conspiracy involving one man—Ray Epps.
Epps, a Trump supporter and long-time President of the Arizona chapter of the Oath Keeper militia, has become the center of a conspiracy theory. In video taken the day before the Capitol Hill attack Epps is seen encouraging people to “peaceably” march on Capitol Hill.
While plenty of people were saying the same thing at that time, in this instance, the crowd started chanting “Fed!”
Additionally, Epps was listed as a person of interest the FBI was seeking more information about, before having his picture removed from their website. This is likely because Epps was questioned, found to not have actually stormed Capitol Hill with the rest of the domestic terrorists, and he was excused.
This is all the evidence of this conspiracy theory.
When Cruz asked Sanborn if Ray Epps was a federal agent, Sanborn said she couldn’t answer.
Immediately after this, Judiciary Chairman, Senator Dick Durbin entered into record a PolitiFact article debunking the conspiracy.
Looks like Ted Cruz will have to try again.
it can be true that the FBI has acted maliciously in the past *and* that this "ray epps" conspiracy is dumb\n\nwe should find out the full extent of the FBI's involvement in a given incident, but that's not Ted Cruz's goal here. he's just pandering far-right sentiments for votes https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1480954736006377482\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/pzUj8Dc3H3— manny (@manny) 1641923662
if there is an active investigation going, that wouldn't be wise to answer that. I'm not a lawyer but it makes common sense not to answer that question— SirAnaba (@SirAnaba) 1641926753
What right does Ted Cruz have to question the FBI for an insurrection that he helped co-conspire on January 6th?— David Weissman (@David Weissman) 1641926124
NEW: After several GOP lawmakers (including Ted Cruz) have accused a man named Ray Epps (who was seen on video encouraging people to go to the Capitol on 1/6) as being an FBI informant- the 1/6 Select Committee says they have talked to Epps and he has never worked for the FBI.pic.twitter.com/76bdvwLzqK— Ryan Nobles (@Ryan Nobles) 1641934146
Poor #TedCruzTexasCoward he will say and do anything to be a real #Republican . A spinless specimen. He is of the genus Amoeba. Species parasite.https://twitter.com/realTuckFrumper/status/1480963862341898241\u00a0\u2026— CJ \ud83d\udc99 (@CJ \ud83d\udc99) 1641933951
I disagree totally. Ted Cruz is trying to create the appearance of an FBI conspiracy here when the FBI agents present were doing their counterintelligence job. \n\nThe reason they can't answer that is bc it creates MORE theories & also it's an ongoing investigation.https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/1480972680081911810\u00a0\u2026— Nikademus Lawman ~ Great-Great Nephew of Mossadegh (@Nikademus Lawman ~ Great-Great Nephew of Mossadegh) 1641950771
Why would Cruz try a tactic like this?
More than likely, to get back in the good graces of his base, after accidentally calling out the Capitol Hill rioters for their acts of domestic terrorism.
This may lead into Cruz’s presidential run for 2024, which almost everyone agrees is a bad idea.