Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the recent FBI assessment that finds the threat of QAnon and violent domestic extremism. Senator Schumer added that this report further strengthens the argument for an independent January 6th commission. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Last December, I joined with Senator Heinrich and other Democrats to ask the FBI and DHS to provide a written assessment on the dangers posed by the online conspiracy group QAnon.
They recently responded to our request with a very sobering assessment. The threat of QAnon is likely to persist and the current environment will likely continue to spur QAnon adherents to see violence as a legitimate course of action. The assessment also expresses that QAnon adherents – and domestic violent extremists – will likely shift from acting digitally to engaging in real world violence. That is a shot across our bow. That's a warning signal.
QAnon today is perhaps best known for the role it played in inspiring many of the rioters who assaulted the US Capitol on January 6th. According to the FBI’s assessment, they arrested 20 self-identified adherents who participated in the insurrection.
But even before the horrific events on January 6th, QAnon supporters spread disinformation that amplified hatred and violence and threatened our democratic institutions.
The past four years have seen a notable increase in violent domestic terrorism, fed by a host of lies and conspiracies that flourished under the Trump era.
This assessment by the FBI is a stark reminder that we have a lot of work to do to tamp down conspiracy theories and disinformation, as well as monitoring and thwarting violent domestic extremists.
And to my Republican Senate colleagues, I would add that this report further strengthens the argument for an independent January 6th commission.