In a court filing this past Monday against revoking pretrial detention on charges stemming from the January 6 attack on Congress, John Hull, attorney for indicted Florida Proud Boy lead organizer Joe Biggs, made a revealing declaration. He claimed his client has been feeding information on alleged “antifa networks” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since at least July 2020 and that Biggs began communicating with FBI agents and local police in 2018.
The revelation, if true, is the latest example of the FBI abetting and aiding the white supremacists and far-right militia members who spearheaded the effort to storm the Capitol, halt the certification of Joe Biden’s election, and install the defeated president, Donald Trump, as an unelected dictator. At the same time, it demonstrates the federal domestic intelligence agency focusing resources and attention on the fictitious threat posed by “antifa.”
While FBI Director Christopher Wray was forced to admit in congressional testimony in March that there was “no evidence” that “antifa” or disguised leftists attacked the Capitol on January 6, there was no doubt that fascist militias, such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and III Percenters urged on by Trump, spearheaded the assault on the Capitol in an attempt to take hostages and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election.
Along with Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe, Dominic Pezzola and William Pepe, Biggs is among the nearly 30 members of the fascist militia facing serious charges, including conspiracy and obstruction of Congress, for their actions on January 6.
A “reporter” for the fascistic Alex Jones Infowars program, Biggs was described by his attorney in his filing as an “organizer, event planner and thought leader in the Proud Boys.” In seeking to keep Biggs out of jail, Hull alleged that he did not pose a threat to the community because of his extensive military service record, which includes deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, along with his close connections to local and federal law enforcement.
Previous documents filed by the prosecution have demonstrated that months of advanced planning went into the assault on the Capitol. Prosecutors alleged that Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Donohoe, all presidents of their local Proud Boys chapters, used online crowdfunding sites to raise money to purchase military and communications equipment which were then used during the siege.
In his motion seeking a release for his client, Hull admitted that Biggs “personally planned two major events: rallies in Portland, Oregon in both 2019 and 2020 designed as counter demonstrations against Antifa.” As part of the process in planning the fascist rallies, Hull stated Biggs “would regularly speak with by phone and in person to both local and federal law enforcement personnel stationed in Portland, including the FBI’s Portland Field Office.”
These talks, according to Hull, “were intended both to inform law enforcement about Proud Boy activities in Portland on a courtesy basis but also to ask for advice on planned marches or demonstrations.”
The August 2019 pro-Trump rally in Portland, dubbed the “end domestic terrorism” protest, drew approximately 500 fascists, including members of the Proud Boys, III Percenters and the American Guard. The latter has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a group of “hardcore nationalists with former racist skinheads—and at least one Klansman—among its members.”
Trump, in a tweet lending his support to the fascist rally, wrote: “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.’ Portland is being watched very closely.”
The intimate connections between the Portland Police Department and fascists have been previously established. In February 2019 it was reported that Portland Police Lt. Jeff Niiya kept in regular contact with fascist Patriot Prayer leader, Joey Gibson. Niiya and Gibson exchanged over 11,500 texts, which included passing along information about upcoming leftist protests and how Gibson could avoid being arrested.
In a prelude to the January 6, 2021 assault, armed Patriot Prayer members, led by Gibson and Chandler Pappas, forced their way into the Oregon state capitol in Salem on December 21, 2020 in an attempt to disrupt a special legislative session. Despite being armed with assault rifles and mace, the far-right militia members were allowed to occupy the capitol grounds for hours even after Oregon State Police declared it an “unlawful assembly.”
Demonstrating the close relationship between the violent fascist organization and the government, Hull alleged that “similar conversations were held regularly with local police and FBI personnel for less major events in other cities.” The chummy relationship between police and the Proud Boys, Hull alleged included, “cautionary calls” Biggs began receiving from the FBI agents in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville in “late 2018,” to discuss “what Biggs meant by something politically or culturally provocative.”
By July 2020, Biggs’ attorney alleged his client was in regular contact with an FBI special agent from Daytona Beach. During a meeting at a restaurant in July 2020, Biggs and the agent discussed whether Biggs “could share information about Antifa networks operating in Florida and elsewhere. They wanted to know what Biggs was ‘seeing on the ground.’”
Hull wrote that Biggs “agreed to share the information” and “answered follow-up questions in a series of several phone calls over the next few weeks. They spoke often.”
The FBI has yet to confirm or deny a relationship with Biggsow. However, it would not be the first instance of the FBI working with the Proud Boys. In January, Reuters revealed through court documents that Proud Boys Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio had been a “ prolific ” federal informant for years, working undercover with federal authorities and local police beginning in 2012.
If it turns out, as it appears, that Biggs had a working relationship with the FBI, it would further demolish claims made by FBI Director Wray and District of Columbia (D.C.) and Capitol police chiefs that there was “no intelligence” that the Proud Boys were planning an attack on Congress. Given that multiple leaders in the group were in regular contact with the FBI, the question becomes how much influence government agents had in planning and orchestrating the assault on the Congress.
In a separate case, the 30-year-old former vice president of the Central Florida Proud Boys, Arthur Jackman, was arrested on Tuesday on federal charges, including obstruction, for his role in the Capitol attack. Jackman, whose wife is Orange County sheriff’s deputy Sarah Jackman, photographed himself inside the Senate chamber flashing a “white power” hand gesture during the siege. He was also photographed inside the Capitol alongside Biggs.
Arriving for a court appearance on Tuesday, Jackman wore a shirt that read, “Proud Boys Did Nothing Wrong.” He was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Jackman’s position in the Proud Boys organization was reported by Jacob Engles, an assistant to Trump political crony Roger Stone, who himself has been tied to various fascist militias.
The FBI alleges that during an interview with Jackman on January 19, 2021, Jackman admitted that he was a member of the Proud Boys. He said that he joined the organization to “support Donald Trump” and that he went to D.C. to be a “visual representation, to support President Trump and to stop the steal.”