FBI chief bats away bizarre Jan 6 ‘ghost bus’ conspiracy at hearing

The director of the FBI has dismissed a suggestion that several so-called “ghost buses” were used by the bureau to help organise the violent protests at the US Capitol on January 6.

Chistopher Wray said he was unfamiliar with the term when presented with the theory by pro-Trump Republican congressman Clay Higgins, who said such vehicles were used for “nefarious” purposes.

The exchange took place during the ongoing hearings into the insurrections in Washington DC, in which thousands of right-wing supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden after the Democrat won the 2020 election.

On Wednesday, Mr Wray was asked about the possibility of involvement from FBI agents in the events, and the use of vehicles used for “secret purposes”.

“If you are asking whether the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources and or agents, the answer is emphatically no,” he said, under questioning from Mr Higgins.

FBI Director Christopher Wray (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FBI Director Christopher Wray (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“You’re saying no? Ok let’s move on – do you know what a ghost vehicle is? You’re the director of the FBI you certainly should. Do you know what a ghost bus is?” the Louisiana congressman said.

A ghost vehicle is a term that is used to refer to an unmarked police car or an unmarked vehicle which is used as a decoy by police.

“A ghost bus? I’m not sure I’ve used that term,” Mr Wray said.

Mr Higgins replied: “It’s pretty common in law enforcement. It’s a vehicle that’s used for secret purposes, it’s painted over.”

Gesturing to a picture of two white buses on the screen he added: “These two buses in the middle here, they were the first to arrive at Union Station on January sixth [at] 0500, I have all this evidence.

Congressman Clay Higgins (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Congressman Clay Higgins (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“I’m showing you the tip of this iceberg, these two buses were painted completely white.”

Mr Higgins later added: It’s a very significant hearing, Mr Chairman. These buses are nefarious in nature and were filled with FBI informants dressed as Trump supporters, and deployed into our Capitol on January 6.”

According to the FBI,  in the 34 months since January 6, 2021, more than 1,200 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the US Capitol.

These include more than 400 individuals that have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony, and the investigation remains ongoing.