Danielle ZoellnerSat, 20 February 2021, 7:06 pm
The Justice Department and FBI have launched an investigation into Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and other high-profile figures’ potential link to the deadly riots that occurred at the US Capitol, The Washington Post reports.
The investigation would look into if people who promoted former President Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims helped encourage rioters to storm the US Capitol on 6 January.
Officials were currently seeking to better understand the insurrectionists and what led to their actions on the day of the riots, according to the newspaper.
But investigators were also considering if any key figures influenced the beliefs of the rioters and if they could bear enough responsibility to result in charges, such as conspiracy or aiding relief.
Although charges against figures like Mr Jones and Mr Stone were unlikely, law enforcement sources told The Washington Post, it was still possible. The two men have been adamant they played no part in the violence seen at the US Capitol on 6 January.
Mr Stone was a longtime political adviser to the former president. Prior to Mr Trump leaving office, the former president pardoned Mr Stone after he was charged on counts of witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements in connection with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation.
Far-right web and radio host Alex Jones was known for founding InfoWars.com and promoting conspiracy theories to his followers.
Another person facing investigation from the FBI was Ali Alexander, who helped organise the“Stop the Steal” rally that took place on 6 January prior to participants breaching the US Capitol.
It was previously reported in the Wall Street Journal that Mr Jones pledged $500,000 to the Stop the Steal rally in exchange for a “top speaking slot of his choice”. Mr Jones also helped secure funding from Julie Jenkins, a megadonor to Mr Trump and heiress to the Publix supermarket chain. The event was also vigorously advertised on Mr Jones’ show on 1 January.
Mr Stone has claimed he had no knowledge of the violent events that were planned at the US Capitol, but he was filmed in Washington DC alongside far-right militia members as the events began to unfold.
Both Mr Jones and Mr Stone attended rallies on 5 January and 6 January but have said their participation at these events was entirely peaceful.
The investigation into the notable figures might not lead to criminal charges, but officials told the newspaper that it could help paint a picture into the events and intentions of the rioters on that day.