U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Lafayette, last week embarrassed both himself and the state of Louisiana by using a House hearing to lob conspiracy-theory gibberish at FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Now, as I have written numerous times, Wray richly deserves comeuppance and maybe the loss of his job for failing to clean up FBI corruption, for running a politicized agency that favors the Left over the Right and for repeatedly misleading Congress while refusing to condemn obvious FBI misdeeds. Yet what Wray does not deserve is to have a member of Congress spew demented accusations that the FBI somehow instigated the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
That, alas, is what Higgins did in a rant that, even after being seen, could not be believed.
Higgins’ thesis is that the FBI had “confidential human sources dressed as (Donald) Trump supporters positioned inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, prior to the doors being open.” He claimed he has a “tremendous amount of evidence” to that effect. He also said, oh so solemnly, that “our government’s highest levels of law enforcement coordinate organized campaigns of weaponized oppression, harassment, investigation, arrest, and prosecution, and imprisonment, of free Americans.”
And then Higgins, pointing to a large photograph of two white vans, asked this of Wray: “Do you know what a ‘ghost vehicle’ is?.... You know what a ‘ghost bus’ is?” Wray was baffled, so Higgins explained: “It’s a vehicle that’s used for secret purposes. It’s painted over. These two buses in the middle here, they were the first to arrive at Union Station on Jan. 6. At zero-five-hundred. I have all this evidence. I’m showing you the tip of this iceberg.”
And: “These buses are nefarious in nature, and were filled with FBI informants dressed as Trump supporters, deployed into our Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Told that his time was up, Higgins ended with a threat: “Your day is coming, Mr. Wray.”
To put it mildly, this was lunacy.
Indeed, it usually is a sign of lunacy?— unless it is malicious dishonesty, which is even worse?— when some single person or small group claims secret knowledge of a conspiracy so vast that keeping it under wraps would be well-nigh impossible, but which somehow only the chosen few have found evidence of that everyone else has missed.
This isn’t conservatism; it’s crackpottery. And it is malignant.
Look, there is no reasonable excuse for what happened at the Capitol that day. A mob egged on by the president violently breached the U.S. Capitol, yelled for the execution of the vice president and the speaker of the House, defecated in the hallways, injured 140 law enforcement personnel (some of them quite seriously) and temporarily halted a sacred civic ceremony in hope of stopping the peaceful and constitutionally appropriate transfer of presidential power.
And the mob was not a tool of federal agents. Period, end of story.
Think about it: What would be the point? If the FBI is an arm of the Left, why would the Left want to stop Congress from ratifying the election of a decades-long liberal to the Oval Office? Was this some sort of bumper pool-like double bank shot to rile up the radical Right so the radical Right looked bad for doing what the radical Right wanted to do anyway, which was to keep Donald Trump in office?
Oh, the mind reels at the diabolical cleverness of it all, and at the extremely exalted cleverness of Higgins to have figured it out!
And to have discovered photos of?— what did he call them, spook vans, or was it poltergeist Volkswagens, or something??— anyway, photos of the “nefarious” vehicles taken at 5 a.m. before a riot that began eight hours later! Vans painted white, presumably replacements for the black helicopters that evil feds once allegedly were fond of using.
Well, at least Higgins didn’t demand that Wray apologize for the thousands of children supposedly being kept as sex slaves under the Capitol building, all orchestrated by Hillary Clinton, which is what the QAnon conspiracy theory alleges.
If Higgins wants to play in those conspiracy-theory big leagues, he’ll need to imagine he's discovered something much worse than ghost buses.
New Orleans native Quin Hillyer is a senior commentary writer and editor for the Washington Examiner, working from the Gulf Coast. He can be reached at Qhillyer@WashingtonExaminer.com. His other columns appear at www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/quin-hillyer.