FBI’s Wray: Agency Pursuing Probes Into Jan. 6 Riot and Racial Justice Violence

FBI's Wray: Agency Pursuing Probes Into Jan. 6 Riot and Racial Justice Violence Christopher Wray FBI Director Christopher Wray. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 01 February 2022 03:00 PM

FBI Director Christopher Wray is defending his agency's handling of the Jan. 6 investigations against claims of political bias.

Wray's comments came Monday during an event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library where he talked about criticism of how the FBI is pursuing cases against those who took part in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol more aggressively than those who participated in acts of violence or vandalism during racial justice protests in 2020, CNN is reporting.

"In the January 6 instance, it happened in broad daylight and it's been photographed extensively, people's faces eminently visible, and involved a fairly unmistakable breach and entry into the Congress while they were in the middle of conducting one of their most sacred responsibilities," Wray said.

Reuters reported more than 725 people have been charged, with more than 160 pleading guilty to a variety of federal charges. About 140 police officers were assaulted during the riot, according to the Justice Department.

At least half of the charges have been misdemeanors, according to CNN.

Wray maintained that in the 2020 riots, many of those who took part in crimes have simply been harder to locate because they were able to conceal themselves and federal jurisdiction in some cases is questionable.

But he maintained the FBI is pushing on both investigations.

"We are aggressively pursuing both," he said. "We have one standard. I don’t care if you're upset about an election, upset [about] our criminal justice system … whatever it is you're upset about, there's a right way and a wrong way to express how you're being upset. And violence against law enforcement and destruction of property is not it."

A video of his speech and the question and answer session following it can be seen on the Reagan Foundation website.

Meanwhile, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said on Monday that there should not be a "double standard" in how the different rioters are treated by the courts.

"The rule of law is blind, right? So when you commit a crime, you should pay for that crime, wherever it was done," he said.