A former FBI deputy director has declared hundreds of Americans terrorists, and called for the arrest of sitting members of Congress, all over the notion that the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill was “terrorism.”
Hundreds of participants in the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January have been arrested and charged, with many held in deplorable prison conditions ahead of trial. With current FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying to Congress that the riot was an act of “domestic terrorism,” former Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to call for even tougher action against the MAGA rioters.
“Arresting low-level operatives is merely a speed bump, not a road block,” he claimed. “In order to really tackle terrorism – and this time domestically – you’ve got to attack and dismantle the command and control element of a terrorist group.”
WATCH: “Arresting low-level operatives is merely a speed bump not a road block,” @FrankFigliuzzi1 says. “In order to really tackle terrorism … you’ve got to attack and dismantle the command and control element.”“That may mean people sitting in Congress right now.” pic.twitter.com/Cn6HlTS9Zq
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 8, 2021
“Unfortunately,” he continued, “that may mean people sitting in Congress right now. People in and around the former president.”
The language used by Figliuzzi is more commonly used by officials to describe foreign terror groups, rather than mobs of unruly Americans. However, such words have been liberally deployed by intelligence officials, Democratic lawmakers, and journalists in the wake of the Capitol riot. Despite the hyperbole, many rioters were simply allowed inside the Capitol to loiter and snap selfies, and of the five deaths connected to the riot, only one (the shooting dead of an unarmed Trump supporter by a police officer) has been proven to be directly inflicted by another person.
While many of the aforementioned officials, lawmakers, and reporters have clamored for expanded surveillance powers and domestic terror laws in the wake of the riot, Figliuzzi’s comments come the closest yet to outright accusing Republican leaders of orchestrating “terrorism.”
Figliuzzi’s comments drew outrage from conservatives and opponents of the intelligence community. “We should demand that every senior FBI official, from Wray to the lowest level supervisory agent denounce this talk and make clear this lunacy is unacceptable,” security analyst Kyle Shideler tweeted. “If they do not, shutter the agency forever.”
Nothing to see here, just Chuck Todd nodding along as one of the biggest Russia collusion hoaxers suggests the FBI should arrest members of Congress for domestic terrorism. https://t.co/rahtb5VA2O
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) June 9, 2021
One of the most popular MSNBC stars is (needless to say) a former FBI Assistant Director: @FrankFigliuzzi1. Here he is casually arguing for the arrest and imprisonment of sitting members of Congress, something @MeetThePress promotes as if it’s normal.This. Is. Not. Normal. https://t.co/pY0e0AJcNy
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 9, 2021
That the FBI, or at least the agency’s former officials, would associate support for Trump with terrorism is unsurprising. FBI brass broke agency rules to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign and knew no evidence existed linking the Trump team to Russia, but investigated the supposed links anyway.
Figliuzzi was fully on board with the ‘Russiagate’ hoax, telling MSNBC’s Brian Williams after a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2018 that Trump was “compromised financially or personally” by Russia and therefore had “made the decision to side with the other team.” Figliuzzi gave no evidence for his claims.
Even now, long after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found no evidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia in the runup to the 2016 election, Figliuzzi still insists that this collusion took place, and parrots the debunked story that Russia allegedly paid Taliban fighters in Afghanistan “bounties” to kill American troops.
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