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Many FBI Workers Sympathized With Jan. 6 Rioters, Insider Says

A "sizable percentage" of FBI employees felt sympathy towards the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, and considered the riot at the U.S. Capitol "no different than the BLM protests," said a warning email sent to a top FBI official by someone with connections to the bureau, reports USA Today. In a trove of documents released by the bureau, the sender's name is redacted. The email was sent to Paul Abbate, now the second highest FBI official. The Jan. 13, 2021, email included a stark warning about attitudes toward the insurrection within the bureau. “I literally had to explain to an agent from a ‘blue state’ office the difference between opportunists burning and looting during protests that stemmed legitimate grievance to police brutality vs. an insurgent mob whose purpose was to prevent the execution of democratic processes at the behest of a sitting president,” the email says. “One is a smattering of criminals, the other is an organized group of domestic terrorists.”

The email says the sender had "spoken to multiple African American agents who have turned down asks to join SWAT because they do not trust that every member of their office's SWAT team would protect them in an armed conflict." Michael German, a former FBI agent now with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and a critic of the bureau, said the email was " important to substantiate the suspicions I and many other people had They clearly are on notice about a much more serious problem within the FBI." FBI agent Stephen Friend has been suspended for refusing to participate in prosecutions of Jan. 6 protesters. Friend was praised by Republicans, who called him "patriotic." The FBI email sheds light on a problem endemic in law enforcement for decades, said Heidi Beirich of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, who has studied white supremacists. "The situation has been serious enough that the FBI for almost 20 years, has been warning of insider threats from cops," Beirich said. "And the thing is, nobody's done anything about it."


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