Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday broke down an exchange between GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a ranking FBI official during testimony earlier in the day when she refused to answer a key question about Jan. 6 violence.
Specifically, Jill Sanborn, the FBI Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Division, would not answer when she was asked during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing if FBI agents and/or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and if they committed crimes or acts of violence or encouraged same.
Here is the exchange:
CRUZ: I want to turn to the FBI. How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?
SANBORN: Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods.
CRUZ: Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?
SANBORN: Sir, I can’t. I can’t answer that.
CRUZ: Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6th?
SANBORN: I can’t answer that, sir.
CRUZ: Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on January 6th?
SANBORN: Sir, I can’t answer that.
During his opening monologue, Carlson indicated that to him, it appears as though the FBI has something to hide.
“Did you hear that? Cruz asked, quote, did any did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6, that’s what he asked,” Carlson said.
“And the obvious answer is ‘are you kidding, come on now. Of course, the FBI isn’t secretly committing crimes of violence, that’s insane, we’re a federal law enforcement agency, we’re not the Tonton Macoute, next question please,’” he added, in a reference to an infamous Haitian paramilitary unit. “That is what Jill Sanborn should have said, but that’s not what, she said, instead she replied I can’t answer that.”
“But of course, Jill Sanborn can answer that and she should be forced to answer that immediately, no sources or methods would be revealed, just answer the question, did they participate in violence or not, why is that hard?” Carlson asked. “That tells you a lot.”
During the same hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen about a man named Ray Epps, a former Marine who is seen in videos appearing to encourage people to storm the U.S. Capitol Building, leading some to suspect he was acting as an agent provocateur on behalf of the government.
“Can the top national security official at really not answer basic questions about the number of people facing charges after January 6th or the Department’s own most wanted list?” Cotton tweeted.
Can the top national security official at really not answer basic questions about the number of people facing charges after January 6th or the Department’s own most wanted list?
— Tom Cotton
“In other words, they really expect you to believe that, quote, I simply don’t have any information at all on that individual, so the DOJ knows nothing about Ray Epps, the guy on the most wanted list, right,” Carlson continued.
“That’s absurdly false and as if to underscore how absurdly false it is, within a short time Democrats on the January 6 committee released a statement claiming that actually they had already interviewed Ray Epps and anyone who has questions about his behavior on January 5th or 6th is a dangerous conspiracy theorist,” he added.
Carlson was making reference to a statement posted to Twitter by the Jan. 6 Committee claiming that they had interviewed Epps and that “he has never been an informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.”
“Wow, bombshell, looks like case closed, we can forget about Ray Epps and move on, sorry we asked,” Carlson noted further. “But wait a second, when exactly and under what circumstances did the committee talk to Ray Epps?”
“Supposedly this interview was conducted in secret last November, if that is true – we don’t know that it is but let’s say it is – then why did the committee wait months to tell us today in a tweet when the committee got its hands on Mark Meadows text messages, we seem to remember they leaked those to the media within hours and by the way, was this Ray Epps interview conducted under oath?” the host asked.
“Did Democrats subpoena his electronic communications as they did with Meadows and so many others?” he asked. “Will the information Epps revealed to the committee be available to the many January 6th defendants who are now awaiting trial? Can their lawyers see a transcript of this interview? Can we see a transcript of this interview? If not, why not?”