The New York Times has a charming habit of reluctantly vindicating Revolver News’ reporting months after the fact. The latest New York Times concession is quite a whopper. Turns out that the FBI had not one, not two, but “as many as eight” informants embedded within the Proud Boys organization. This comes off the heels of a recent revelation that the Vice President of the Oath Keepers was also an FBI informant.
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
This of course raises the obvious question. If the feds had this many informants and visibility into forthcoming activities on January 6th, why didn’t they do anything to stop it?
The F.B.I. had as many as eight informants inside the far-right Proud Boys in the months surrounding the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, recent court papers indicate, raising questions about how much federal investigators were able to learn from them about the violent mob attack both before and after it took place.
The existence of the informants came to light over the past few days in a flurry of veiled court filings by defense lawyers for five members of the Proud Boys who are set to go on trial next month on seditious conspiracy charges connected to the Capitol attack.
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.
In a sealed filing quoted by the defense, prosecutors argued that hundreds of pages of documents related to the F.B.I. informants were neither “suppressed” by the government nor directly relevant to the case of the Proud Boys facing sedition charges: Enrique Tarrio, the group’s former leader; Joseph Biggs; Ethan Nordean; Zachary Rehl; and Dominic Pezzola.
The dispute about the informants in the Proud Boys came on the heels of revelations that the F.B.I. also had a well-placed source in the inner circle of Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, another far-right group that took part in the Capitol attack.
Last week, lawyers for Mr. Rhodes and four other Oath Keepers who are being tried on sedition charges planned to call the informant — Greg McWhirter, the group’s former vice president — as a defense witness, believing that his testimony would bolster their case. But on the eve of his planned appearance, Mr. McWhirter suffered a heart attack and the defense put other witnesses in his place.