Top brass at the FBI said that the identities of "problematic" confidential informants who were involved in reporting to the bureau from the Jan. 6, 2021 protest should be kept from the public, a whistleblower told the House Judiciary Committee.
The whistleblower, an FBI agent, told the committee that Deputy Director Paul Abbate suggested that at least 25 FBI confidential human sources who were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 should not be publicly acknowledged.
Abbate notified one or more of his subordinates that the informants"were too problematic or embarrassing" and that the existence, activities, and identities of these FBI confidential human sources should not be released, according to the whistleblower disclosure sent to the committee.
The revelations come as FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the committee on Wednesday. Wray refused to answer some questions about Jan. 6, in particular one from Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie about the suspect who planted pipe bombs on Jan. 5.
The FBI has not located the suspect, which critics said they found interesting considering the bureau has used GPS data to track down and arrest hundreds of Trump supporters who were standing outside the U.S. Capitol on J6. The FBI claimed last month that the cell phone data of the alleged bomber was corrupted.
Wray refused to answer questions about the pipe bombs, the bizarre circumstances surrounding their discovery and the corrupted phone data that could have helped identify the bomber.
“We can handle classified information and we fund your department so you need to provide that,” Rep. Massie said to Wray.
Wray insisted he couldn’t answer any questions because of an “ongoing investigation.”
In May, George Hill, a whistleblower from the FBI‘s Boston field office, testified before the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, saying that agents in Washington refused to share hours of video from the Capitol protest between the offices, because there “may be” undercover officers or confidential human sources on the footage whose identities could be compromised.
Marcus Allen, an FBI intel analyst, allegedly was retaliated against for forwarding information that called into question Wray‘s November testimony to the Senate about whether informants had infiltrated groups protesting on Jan. 6.
When Wray was asked whether the FBI had confidential human sources at the Capitol, he said, “I have to be very careful about what I can say — about when we do and do not and where we have and have not used confidential human sources.”
“But to the extent that there’s a suggestion, for example, that the FBI‘s confidential human sources or FBI employees in some way instigated or orchestrated January 6, that’s categorically false,” he said.
Wray later added, “You should not read anything into my decision not to share anything on confidential human sources” after he did not outright dismiss a question of whether the FBI had those sources dressed as Trump supporters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.