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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A member of Congress made comments about the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol during a recent NewsMax appearance that, if true, could radically change the balance of blame for that fateful day.

The riot broke out after former President Donald Trump’s “March to Save America” rally, which was meant to encourage Congress to delay certification of the 2020 presidential election results over allegations of vote fraud in several states.

Viral videos showed people physically attacking police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through windows, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. Other videos, however, also showed that many were let into the Capitol by police and simply walked the halls after the initial breach. Several people died, some of those dying after the rioting and claimed to be related to it, but the only fatal victim of direct, intentional violence was unarmed Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, shot by a Capitol police officer while she was climbing through an interior window.

Trump’s political opponents blamed him for “inciting” the riot, which they called an “insurrection,” leading to an unsuccessful second impeachment attempt. Yet despite the FBI failing to find evidence that the violence was planned or organized, more than a dozen Democrat committee investigations into the event have continued ever since, with hundreds of people arrested and many expressing concerns about their treatment and disproportionate, politically motivated punishment.

Speaking with host Chris Salcedo this week, U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) suggested that the FBI was responsible for the event turning violent:

“The FBI was not only involved in actions on January 6 from within, they had, I suspect, over 200 agents embedded within the crowd, including agents or as they would call human assets inside the Capitol dressed as Trump supporters before the doors were opened,” Higgins said. “Beyond that, the FBI had embedded themselves and infiltrated online chat groups, websites, and social media accounts across the country,” and “when you track the text threads or communications within those groups and find the origins of suggestions of potential violence or an act of occupation of the Capitol on January 6, you’ll find that those messages were led by members of the groups that ended up to be FBI agents who had infiltrated the groups.”

Higgins did not point to specific reports, documents, or testimony corroborating those statements during the interview, but LifeSiteNews has reached out to his office for comment, and will update this report upon reply.

In November 2021, LifeSiteNews reviewed a comprehensive documentary on January 6 produced by former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, which argued that the event was “being used as a pretext to strip millions of Americans, disfavored Americans, of their core constitutional rights, and to defame them as domestic terrorists.” 

The documentary provides evidence that the violence was not wanted by pro-Trump organizers, that protesters were not responsible for Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death, and that defendants have been mistreated while awaiting trial. It also makes a case that instigators from outside groups were in the crowd and may have contributed to one of the incidents that provoked police overreaction that in turn provoked the crowd to explode. On the question of government instigation, however, the documentary only offers opinion and speculation.

In May, George Hill, a whistleblower from the FBI’s Boston field office, submitted testimony to the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that the bureau’s Washington office said it could not share Capitol Hill riot video without an “exact time and place those individuals were inside the Capitol,” because “there may be UC’s, undercover officers, or CHS, confidential human sources, on those videos whose identity we need to protect.”

When pressed on the subject last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray 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 6th, that’s categorically false.”

Also in November, Higgins alleged that two buses “painted completely white” and photographed in Capitol Hill’s Union Station parking garage were supposedly the first to arrive on January 6, “nefarious in nature and were filled with FBI informants dressed as Trump supporters deployed onto our Capitol on January 6th.” It is unclear from the photo how the vehicles are different from the rest of the buses, but Higgins told HuffPost that he has gathered “extensive evidence” about them, given it to “appropriate authorities,” and “we’ll see what happens.” LifeSiteNews will cover it if any such evidence is released.