The FBI has found “scant evidence” that the January 6 Capitol riot was coordinated by far-right groups or supporters of former President Donald Trump, Reuters reports.
The FBI has arrested 570 alleged participants so far but investigators believe that the “violence was not centrally coordinated,” according to the report.
"Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases," a former law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. "Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages."
Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, and Jones, the founder of InfoWars, were both involved in pro-Trump events surrounding the riot.
The FBI has found evidence that certain groups, including members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, planned to break into the Capitol but have found no evidence that they had “serious plans about what to do if they made it inside,” sources told the outlet.
About 40 defendants that allegedly planned their activities ahead of the riot have been charged with conspiracy.
The FBI has alleged that a Proud Boy leader recruited members and directed them to stockpile armor and military-style equipment ahead of the riot. The group planned to split into multiple cells to break into the Capitol from several locations, according to prosecutors.
But there is no evidence that the groups plotted a violent overthrow of government or other serious acts, according to the report.
Prosecutors have steered clear of more serious charges like sedition or racketeering.
No Trump link:
Though Trump was impeached for inciting the riot and ultimately acquitted by the Senate, the FBI has found no evidence that he or his allies were involved in organizing the violence, according to Reuters.
Prosecutors have not brought any charges alleging that a single individual or group had a central role in organizing the riot.
But some judges have also questioned whether the Justice Department is going to easy on certain defendants.
Judge Beryl Howell last month questioned why prosecutors allowed one defendant to plead guilty to only a misdemeanor charge that carries up to six months in prison rather than a felony charge.