A far-right Proud Boys member and FBI informant was texting his handler during the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol, The New York Times reported.
The FBI was investigating at least two other January 6 rioters with possible ties to the Proud Boys, according to the report.
Records appear to show that the FBI had advanced knowledge that members of the Proud Boys were heading toward the Capitol.
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A Proud Boys member working as an FBI informant was present at the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol and sent his FBI handler live text message updates, indicating that the agency Law enforcement had real-time knowledge that a pro-Trump crowd was heading toward the building.
According to a report published Saturday by The New York Times, the whistleblower was updating his handler as the pro-Trump mob marched to the US Capitol 6 as lawmakers gathered inside to discuss and certify Joe Biden as the one. winner of the 2020 presidential election.
The informant, who was associated with the organization’s Midwest chapter, told the FBI that members of the Proud Boys were following the mob, but maintained that the group had no plans to attack the United States Capitol.
The insider described meeting other members of the Proud Boys at the Washington Monument on the morning of Jan. 6 before moving to the Capitol, records show, according to the Times. The insider described seeing barriers knocked down and Trump supporters entering the building.
The controller did not appear to understand that the Capitol had been breached, according to records obtained by the Times. The records were provided to the outlet on the grounds that it would not cite them directly, according to the report.
The whistleblower began working with federal investigators in July 2020, according to records, according to the Times.
The records do not indicate whether the informant may have intentionally misled federal investigators, according to the report. The informant’s statements pose difficulties for federal prosecutors who seek to argue that rioters at the capitol associated with the Proud Boys planned in advance to raid the building.
Prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against 15 members of the Proud Boys related to the January 6 riot, The Times noted. In all, at least 654 people have faced charges related to their involvement in the January 6 riot, according to an Insider database.
The FBI was investigating at least two other people involved in the January 6 riot who may have been related to the Proud Boys, according to the report.
A person familiar with the situation told The New York Times that the FBI had another informant present on January 6 who was affiliated with another chapter of the Proud Boys.
“While the standard practice of the FBI is not to discuss its sources and methods, it is important to understand that sources provide valuable information on criminal activity and national security matters,” the FBI told The New York Times in a statement.
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