FBI informant’s intelligence during January 6 attack likely complicates attempts to prove conspiracy
Proud Boy FBI informant texted his escort during the Jan. 6 riots and said the Capitol storming was not pre-planned — complicating efforts to prove conspiracy against the far-right group
- A member of the far-right Proud Boys who was an FBI informant texted his handler during the January 6 riots in the US Capitol
- The FBI had investigated two other rioters with possible ties to the Proud Boys
- Records appear to indicate that the FBI had advanced knowledge that members of the Proud Boys were on their way to the Capitol
- Informant Suggests Plan to Storm Capitol Wasn’t Planned in Advance
- Prosecutors charged conspiracy against 15 members of the Proud Boys
- At least 654 people have been accused of taking part in the riots
An FBI informant who was allegedly one of the rioters during the January 6 riots in the United States Capitol gave real-time updates to his escort as the mob stormed the building.
The informant, who is reportedly a member of the far-right Proud Boys militia, was among thousands who took part in the deadly riot and continued to text an FBI agent throughout the day.
The informant, who was a foot soldier in the group rather than a leader, was unaware that an attempt would be made to break into the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers were busy certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The individual has been identified as belonging to a division of the group in the Midwest.
A member of the far-right Proud Boys who was an FBI informant texted his escort during the January 6 riots in the US Capitol. Pictured, pro-Trump rioters breach security perimeter and enter US Capitol to protest Electoral College vote
The The New York Times reports, the fact that the FBI was texted in real time suggests law enforcement was more aware of what was happening on the ground than previously thought.
The Times describes how the informant met fellow Proud Boys at the Washington Monument on the morning of Jan. 6 to hear President Donald Trump speak at a “Stop the Steal” rally.
According to the informant, who began working with federal investigators in July 2020, the group was tracking “a pro-Trump mob consumed by herd mentality.”
Members of the militia are said to have debated whether to enter the Capitol before finally making their way to the building.
Members of the far-right group Proud Boys march toward the US Capitol Building in Washington on January 6.
Pro-Trump rioters destroy camera equipment and media equipment after breaching security perimeter and break around US Capitol to protest Electoral College vote
The informant described how barriers were knocked down as Trump supporters entered the building, but the FBI manager didn’t seem to understand that the Capitol had been breached.
The informant seems to suggest that before the riots there was no plot to storm the Capitol.
Such statements could pose difficulties for federal prosecutors who hoped the rioters in the Proud Boys capital planned to storm the building in advance.
The informant managed to gain entry to the Capitol, but then escaped through a window after learning from a police officer that someone had been shot inside.
Records appear to indicate that the FBI had advanced knowledge that members of the Proud Boys were on their way to the Capitol
The FBI informant suggests that the plan to storm Capitol was not planned in advance. Photo shows Trump supporters climbing the walls of the Capitol
Such information could be part of the House Committee’s investigation into the events of that day.
More than 600 rioters have been charged with crimes as a result of the riots. 15 of those charges were members of the Proud Boys.
The defendants who have pleaded guilty have been asked to testify before the panel.
“While it is standard FBI practice not to discuss its sources and methods, it is important to understand that sources provide valuable information about criminal activity and national security issues,” the FBI said in a statement to The New York Times.
Proud boys, including Joseph Biggs, front left, walk toward the US Capitol in Washington. Several of their leaders, members and associates have become central targets of the Department of Justice’s extensive investigation