FBI Handler Had Tap on Jan. 6, Plant in Crowd Working for Him

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The FBI had an informant on the ground on Jan. 6 before the incursion into the U.S. Capitol, according to a report, which is leading to questions about how involved the bureau was in the building breach.

The New York Times reported on Saturday it had obtained records which showed that an FBI handler had been in contact with a man reported to be affiliated with the group the Proud Boys before the building was entered by protesters.

Per the report, the unnamed informant was constantly texting his FBI contact throughout the morning and afternoon of Jan. 6. Those messages were to keep the agent up to date about what was happening. The informant, per the Times, was affiliated with a midwest chapter of the Proud Boys.

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He said he met with other members hours before the building was entered at the nearby Washington Monument at 10 a.m. that day. The FBI’s reported mole recounted that Proud Boys members did not organize an attempt to enter the Capitol. He said, rather, that they went in when others did so as doors were opened.

The Times reported the alleged informant and others with the Proud Boys became “consumed by a herd mentality,” but had no intention to commit any violence before traveling to Washington, or once they entered the building with others.

The informant reportedly said there was a prolonged conversation among Proud Boys members about whether entering the building was even a good idea.

Ultimately, he and others did enter. The informant said he later exited the building after he was told someone had been shot.

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The shooting was an apparent reference to the shooting death of protester and military veteran Ashli Babbitt. The woman was shot by U.S. Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd.

The news outlet concluded that the informant’s testimony from the day is evidence that federal officials were actively monitoring the events, and had a good understanding of what was unfolding, which is a narrative the FBI has not embraced publicly.

“Federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known,” the Times reported.

People who viewed the Times report online speculated about the FBI’s involvement in the incursion, with many concluding that Jan. 6 might have been avoided had it not been steered by the bureau.

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The Times reported that 15 members of the Proud Boys have been charged over the events of Jan. 6. They are among hundreds of others who have been charged or jailed for alleged acts related to being in or near the Capitol.

The Times report comes as the FBI is already under fire for allegedly not acting to protect children from sexual abuse after having information that Larry Nassar, the former team doctor of the United States women’s national gymnastics team, was a sexual predator.

The bureau is also facing scrutiny over its role in an alleged plot last year to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.





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