By Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
The FBI may have reportedly had as many as eight informants planted inside the Proud Boys at the time of the Jan. 6 riot, The New York Times is reporting, making many wonder why the authorities weren’t alerted beforehand.
The revelation is anticlimactic as it was revealed by the New York Times in September that there was at least one FBI mole that had infiltrated the group.
The Justice Department indicted former Proud Boys leaders Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola. Their trial is set for December 12. The latest revelation by the Old Gray Lady comes from court filings for next month’s trial. They are being charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to their involvement in the Capitol Building breach.
In response to the new information, the defendants’ attorneys asked the court to drop the indictment or delay the trial. It is highly unlikely it will do so.
Because all of the material remains under a highly restrictive protective order, it is impossible 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.
“In the papers, some of which were heavily redacted, the lawyers claimed that 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 New York Times reported.
“A closed court hearing was held on Monday to discuss the informants in Federal District Court in Washington. Lawyers for the Proud Boys have asked Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who is overseeing the case, to dismiss the indictment—or at least delay the trial to give them more time to investigate the newly revealed informants,” the report added.
The judge did not render a decision on the request as of Monday. The defense quoted a sealed filing by prosecutors, in which they said that hundreds of pages of documents connected to the FBI sources weren’t “suppressed” by the authorities and that it wasn’t relevant to the case.
It is unclear whether the information was shared by the informants because of redactions made in the documents or for some other reason. Details are expected to be revealed at the trial unless it is postponed or nixed.
The FBI seems to be getting more and more unpopular with Americans and the fact that not only did they allegedly plant informants inside organizations to spy on them, but failed at gathering intelligence while doing so, has not gone unnoticed: