- Former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi says the FBI is facing a “crisis of credibility.”
- Figliuzzi said the agency was not being transparent about what it knew about the Capitol riot.
- He called for the FBI to come clean if there was “political suppression” of its intelligence.
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, says the agency is facing a “crisis of credibility” over conflicting information about what its senior agents knew leading up to the Capitol riot.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline” on Monday, Figliuzzi said the FBI’s most senior leaders are not grasping the “gravity” of the situation. Information is now trickling out about what the FBI’s officials knew leading up to the riot, he added.
“And it was a lot more than we thought they knew at the time preceding January 6,” Figliuzzi said.
“It’s time for complete transparency. It’s time to come out and say, ‘We dropped this ball, and here’s why,'” Figliuzzi added.
Figliuzzi brought up how Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters days after the Capitol riot that the FBI had not received any intelligence that pointed to the Trump Ellipse rally turning violent.
Figliuzzi also referenced FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony to Congress in June 2021. Wray said his agency had no intelligence before January 6 that indicated that “hundreds and hundreds of people were going to breach the Capitol complex.”
On Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee investigating the events of January 6, contradicted Wray’s testimony. Schiff said during the panel’s hearing that there was evidence that the FBI, the Capitol police, and other agencies had “gathered and disseminated” intelligence that suggested there would be violence at the Capitol.
“So which is it? You lacked specificity, or you had the intelligence to do something, and somehow it didn’t happen?” Figliuzzi said.
“And I think it’s going way up the chain here, even to involve political suppression of anybody who might have wanted to take further actions to secure the Capitol,” Figliuzzi said. “Those are the questions that need to be answered and they need to be answered now. Not waiting for the committee to release a 1,000-page report, months from now.”
In an op-ed published on MSNBC on Friday, Figliuzzi also called for the Biden administration to demand answers as to whether US law enforcement leaders fumbled their response to January 6, or if they were intentionally blocked from preventing the riot.
“Without substantive answers from agency leaders, many of us will be left to conclude that there was a willful blindness to the signs that were staring them in the face,” Figliuzzi wrote.
Figliuzzi served in the FBI for 25 years and worked in the agency’s Atlanta and Washington, DC headquarters. He was appointed as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in 2011. He is now a news analyst and commentator on MSNBC.
Representatives at the FBI did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.