A former top FBI official has testified before a House panel that the agency’s Washington Field Office had knowledge of FBI informants who were involved in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
During a transcribed interview with the House Judiciary Committee, Steven D’Antuono, the former assistant director-in-charge of the Washington Field Office, stated that the office learned after the riot that there were confidential sources from other field offices in attendance, and that some informants participated voluntarily.
When asked by Rep. Jim Jordan, the Judiciary chairman, if there were any known or unknown Confidential Human Sources (CHS) at the riot, D’Antuono responded that both were present.
According to D’Antuono, there was one source from the Kansas City office who had informed the case agent ahead of time about his attendance at the riot.
D’Antuono clarified that while it’s possible that the Washington Field Office had prior knowledge, he personally was not aware.
The FBI has not yet provided any comment on the matter.
Rep. Jordan has sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, restating the committee’s previous requests for documents and information regarding the management of the CHS program and how the FBI handles informants.
In July, a whistleblower FBI agent informed the House Judiciary Committee that Deputy Director Paul Abbate opposed publicly acknowledging the involvement of at least 25 FBI confidential human sources or informants in the riots. The whistleblower stated that Abbate instructed subordinates not to name these sources, citing their problematic nature or potential embarrassment if their existence became public.
Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, stated that the FBI should have been aware of the potential escalation of the planned Jan. 6 demonstrations.
Issa further criticized the FBI for not admitting the number of individuals on their payroll or serving as informants, and for withholding information on how many individuals participated in the illegal activity at the Capitol.
In May, another FBI whistleblower from the Boston field office testified that agents in Washington were reluctant to share video footage of the Capitol protest with other offices due to concerns that it may feature undercover officers or confidential human sources, thereby compromising their identities.
Overall, these testimonies suggest that the FBI had knowledge of informants present at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, raising questions about the agency’s handling of the situation and the transparency of its operations.