During a Senate Intelligence Committee meant to be regarding national security and global threats, Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, who purports to represent the state of New Mexico despite living in Maryland, continued a bizarre line of questioning regarding a theory called “QAnon” and who its founder may be. QAnon is most commonly attributed to being a phenomenon regarding pedophiles in the government controlling policies in the United States and abroad for nefarious purposes.
Heinrich asked Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, Christopher Wray, about the theory. Wray said, “the effects of Covid anxiety, social isolation, financial hardship, etc., all exacerbate people’s vulnerability to those theories, and we are concerned about the potential that those things can lead to violence.”
“The Constitution protects the advocacy of all kinds of beliefs and views, even those that philosophically embrace violent tactics. But the public deserves to know how the government assesses the threat to our country from those who would act violently on such beliefs,” said Heinrich.
Then Heinrich asked Wray who is behind “Q” from the “QAnon” theory in an attempt to somehow connect QAnon to the incursion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
He said, “You’re no doubt familiar with some of the public speculation that ‘Q’ is really Ron Watkins, the administrator of the internet imageboard 8kun formerly known as 8chan. Whether or not Watkins is ‘Q,’ he and his father clearly are responsible for hosting these sites and co-opting, furthering the QAnon conspiracy phenomenon.”
“Given the prominent role that QAnon did play on the January 6th attack on the Capitol, what are the potential legal repercussions for those who might be primarily responsible for either propagating these sorts of dangerous and in some cases violent messages in these forums?”
Wray responded, “Well, I think your question starts to raise different legal theories. We obviously again have to be careful to be focused on violence, threats to violence, and things that violate federal criminal law. That doesn’t mean that rhetoric isn’t a societal problem that doesn’t need to be addressed, but from the FBI’s perspective–from a law enforcement perspective–we try to be very careful to focus on violence, threats of violence, and associated federal criminal activity.”