An FBI Informant Marched Into the Capitol on Jan. 6 Riot


The records show that, after driving to Washington and checking into an Airbnb in Virginia on Jan. 5, the informant spent most of Jan. 6 with other Proud Boys, including some who have been charged in the attack. While the informant mentioned seeing Proud Boys leaders that day, like Ethan Nordean, who has also been charged, there is no indication that he was directly involved with any Proud Boys in leadership positions.

In a detailed account of his activities contained in the records, the informant, who was part of a group chat of other Proud Boys, described meeting up with scores of men from chapters around the country at 10 a.m. on Jan. 6 at the Washington Monument and eventually marching to the Capitol. He said that when he arrived, throngs of people were already streaming past the first barrier outside the building, which, he later learned, was taken down by one of his Proud Boy acquaintances and a young woman with him.

The records say that the informant entered the Capitol after debating whether to do so with his compatriots. He then told his handlers, according to the records, that after police officers informed him that someone — possibly the pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt — had been shot inside the building, he left through a window. The records say that he hurt no one and broke nothing.

According to the records, the informant first began to tell the F.B.I. what he knew about Jan. 6 in late December after a pro-Trump rally in Washington that month turned violent. He showed his handlers screenshots of an online chat board known to be popular among Trump supporters indicating that some so-called normal conservatives were planning to bring weapons to Washington in January, the records show.

But the records contain no indication that the informant was aware of a possible plot by Proud Boys leaders to purposefully instigate those normal Trump supporters — or what members of the group refer to as “normies” — on Jan. 6.

According to court papers in one case, a Proud Boys leader from Philadelphia wrote on the group’s Telegram channel on the morning of Jan. 6, “I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash today.”

Then, after the attack was over, another leader of the chapter summed up his thoughts about the riot on the chat, according to court papers.



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