“We have no indication of that, at this time,” said FBI Assistant Director Steven D'Antuono said at a press briefing on Friday, per CNBC News. The day before, Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, also said that investigators hadn’t found evidence of antifa’s presence.
Antifa is a loose group of “anti-fascist” activists who gather at demonstrations and clash with far-right groups. The left-wing extremist group has become the boogeyman for the right, often becoming the scapegoat for fake rumors.
Earlier this week, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Paul Gosar of Arizona implied that antifa attempted to provoke the U.S. Capitol mob and frame the Trump insurrectionists by escalating Wednesday’s events after Trump’s rally.
After the crowd swarmed the Capitol, Gaetz told the House floor that he had read “compelling evidence” that said some rioters were antifa. “The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group Antifa,” Gaetz said.
However, the article in question was removed when BuzzFeed News reported that the facial recognition company said it was “outright false.” The outlet then published a corrected version that recognized the firm had identified “neo-Nazis and other extremists,” and not members of antifa.
Brooks took to Twitter on Thursday to fire off a series of messages, writing that “evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack.” He added “Evidence, much public, surfacing that many Capitol assaulters were fascist ANTIFAs, not Trump supporters.”
Gosar also tweeted on Wednesday that the Capitol attack had “all the hallmarks of Antifa provocation.”
On Thursday, the FBI asked the public for its help in identifying the far-right extremists who breached the Capitol.