Illustration for article titled Charlottesville Suspect Might Have Received Tacit Support From High-Level Government Figure

WASHINGTON—Suggesting he did not act alone but with implicit backing at the highest levels, the FBI said Monday that the suspect charged with murder for ramming his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville over the weekend may have received tacit support from a powerful U.S. government figure. “While James Alex Fields Jr. was the man behind the wheel, we have every reason to believe that he benefited from the quiet patronage of someone of great importance in the American executive branch,” said FBI director Christopher Wray, adding that the agency has for months suspected that white nationalists had an influential de facto ally in that arm of government and that recent events have only validated their theory. “Rather than openly declare common cause with U.S. neo-Nazi terrorist acts, we believe this official prefers to discreetly provide assistance from a removed position where he can operate with at least a modicum of plausible deniability.” At press time, the FBI said it was not quite ready to release the individual’s name but said it likely would soon, as evidence continued to mount every day.

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