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FBI Sees No 'Grand Scheme' Behind Attack on Capitol

Investigators say few rioters had coordinated with an organization
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2021 3:45 PM CDT
FBI Hasn't Found Attack on Capitol Was a Broad Plot
National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington in January after the attack.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol apparently wasn't a highly coordinated plot intended to negate the presidential election results. Citing current and former FBI officials, Reuters reports that investigators, who have arrested more than 570 people in the case, have found little to indicate any group coordinated the riot. A former senior law enforcement official said 90% to 95% "are one-off cases." The remaining ones, the official said, involve "militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages." Stone and Jones are allies who attended pro-Trump events in Washington the day before the attack.

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Of the defendants, 40 face conspiracy charges. Members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys did intend to break into the building, officials said, though that's as far as their planning took them. A leader of the Proud Boys had told members before the attack to stock up on bulletproof vests and other equipment, then told them on Jan. 6 to split up and enter the Capitol in several places. Investigators haven't found that former President Trump or anyone close to him was behind the attack, either. Top members of Congress have been briefed on the investigation, per Reuters. Prosecutors mostly have brought charges such as assaulting an officer and have settled for plea deals. (President Biden honored officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6)

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