Recent court documents show the FBI had as many as eight – EIGHT – informants embedded with the “Proud Boys” group in the months leading up to the January 6 riot at the Capitol in 2021.
The bombshell revelation comes via the New York Times and raises several alarms, among them being just how the eight informants and their presence within the group, and the information they gleaned from working with the group, didn’t result in the FBI stopping the riot in the first place.
It also raises the question with defense lawyers as to whether the group may have been, or to what degree they were, entrapped by the informants themselves.
The New York Times reports that court filings for defense lawyers representing five members of the Proud Boys currently on trial for seditious conspiracy have unveiled the number of informants.
“Some of the information the confidential sources had provided to the government was favorable to their efforts to defend their clients against sedition charges and was improperly withheld by prosecutors until several days ago,” the defense claimed.
“Because all of the material remains under a highly restrictive protective order, it is not possible to know what the informants told the government about the Proud Boys’ role in the Capitol attack or how that information might affect the outcome of the trial,” the Times writes.
The FBI had as many as eight informants inside the Proud Boys in the months around the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, recent court papers indicate, raising questions about how much federal investigators were able to learn from them before and after it took place. https://t.co/vfMPExBNW3
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 14, 2022
FBI Embedded Informants on January 6
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News of the eight informants with the Proud Boys comes just days after revelations that the FBI had another well-placed informant within the Oath Keepers, another group that allegedly took part in the January 6 riot.
The New York Times revealed that the Oath Keepers informant is alleged to have “secretly reported to the FBI in the months leading up to the” Capitol incident.
With this many informants involved in the days before the riot, it’s hard to fathom why the FBI didn’t use their knowledge to prevent the riot from taking place at all.
“Questions about informants reporting to the government from inside extremist groups have been raised repeatedly throughout the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack,” the paper of record explains.
“They have included concerns about why the informants were not able to give the government advanced warning about plans to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 or seemingly to corroborate accusations after the fact that the groups conspired in plotting the attack.”
That is a charitable evaluation. Either they gave them information in advance and the FBI did nothing with it to stop the riot, or they are truly very bad informants.
A NYT reporter privately admitted there were a “ton of FBI informants” present at the Capitol on January 6. pic.twitter.com/oaFONsdhSN
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 10, 2022
FBI Has Some Explaining to Do
Matthew Rosenberg, a national security reporter with the New York Times, said in a video shown by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson back in March that the FBI had “a ton of FBI informants amongst the people who attacked the Capitol.”
“You have to wonder if you’re a national security reporter at the New York Times, and you find out there were a ton of FBI people in the crowd, doesn’t that kind of demand a follow-up?” Carlson wondered.
“Don’t you have a moral obligation to find out like: What the hell is that? Who are these people? Why haven’t they been arrested? What was the federal government’s role in this, quote, ‘insurrection’?” he continued.
So if the #2 in the Proud Boys was working with the FBI, and the lead militia guy in the Whitmer kidnaping plot was working with the FBI (along with numerous agents & informants in the group) one legitimate question is: How much was the FBI driving vs. investigating the plots?
— Sharyl Attkisson 🕵️♂️💼🥋 (@SharylAttkisson) November 15, 2022
There is no indication that FBI informants took part in the rioting activity itself on January 6th, but questions really need to be posed as to what their role was and, if there were informants embedded with groups that did actually take part in the riot, how the bureau failed, as they often do, to stop what took place that day.
“Former FBI officials say there might have been gaps in what bureau intelligence analysts had told agents to ask their informants,” the Times stated in defense of the latest revelations.
“Analysts at the bureau are supposed to help agents connect the intelligence dots to provide a clearer picture of threat activity,” they added.
From 7/21/21: ‘Wouldn’t it be surprising if the FBI had *not* infiltrated the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and others?’ From NYT today: ‘The FBI had as many as eight informants inside the Proud Boys…’ https://t.co/rs5MkC22M9
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 15, 2022
At the beginning of this year, FBI Executive Assistant Director of National Security Jill Sanborn repeatedly dodged questioning from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) about whether or not agents from the bureau or confidential informants had participated in the January 6 riot.
Under questioning by Cruz as to the role of agents or informants in the riot, Sanborn repeatedly responded, “I can’t answer that.”
.@SenTedCruz: “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?”
FBI’s Jill Sanborn: “I can’t answer that.” pic.twitter.com/Z5Sj1tSyNx
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11, 2022
“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?” Cruz asked.
“Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods –” Sanborn began before Cruz rephrased the question.
“I can’t answer that,” Sanborn replied.
We now know there were at least eight of them within the Proud Boys and at least one with the Oath Keepers.
“Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6?” Cruz continued to press.
“I can’t answer that,” Sanborn again responded.
Perhaps it is time for Congress to get some top-ranking officials with the FBI to testify again and actually answer those same questions.
“No evidence has surfaced suggesting that the FBI played any role in the attack,” the Times insists.
But there does seem to be plenty of evidence suggesting they had information that could have prevented it. Maybe the ‘9/11-style’ January 6 committee investigation can look into why the FBI provided a matador defense in seemingly allowing the attack to move forward.
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