As events unfolded on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the FBI was receiving live reports from the ground from an informant who was covertly sending updates to his agency handlers. According to a report published in The New York Times, as a group of protestors stormed the capital, FBI agents were texting with the informant embedded with The Proud Boys.
According to the Times, the agency knew in advance that multiple informants planned on attending the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6. The Times, however, dismissed claims that undercover agents staged the attack on the Capitol.
“In the informant’s version of events, the Proud Boys, famous for their street fights, were largely following a pro-Trump mob consumed by a herd mentality rather than carrying out any type of preplanned attack,” the article reads, which is in line with what we’ve heard from the FBI.
The Times reports further: “The use of informants always presents law enforcement officials with difficult judgments about the credibility and completeness of the information they provide. In this case, the records obtained by The Times do not directly address whether the informant was in a good position to know about plans developed for Jan. 6 by the leadership of the Proud Boys, why he was cooperating, whether he could have missed indications of a plot or whether he could have deliberately misled the government.”
They add, “The records, and information from two people familiar with the matter, suggest that 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 records also allege that “dovetail with assertions made by defense lawyers who have argued that even though several Proud Boys broke into the Capitol, the group did not arrive in Washington with a preset plot to storm the building.”