Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial reveals deep penetration of militia group by FBI and police prior to January 6 coup

As the almost three-month trial draws to a close for five leaders of the Proud Boys fascists, accused of seditious conspiracy in connection with former President Donald Trump’s failed coup, new evidence has emerged showing the intimate connections between the right-wing militia group and local and federal police prior to the attack.

Last week Roger Roots, the attorney for Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, filed a motion seeking to compel the government to reveal all of the informants involved “in the events of January 6.”

Five members of the Proud Boys are facing seditious conspiracy charges. [Photo: New York Times]

Roots wrote, “Pezzola recently learned that a federal agency other than FBI—the Homeland Security Investigations unit—was handling and running undercover CHSs (Confidential Human Sources) on Jan. 6.”

The Homeland Security Investigations unit, according to ICE.gov, has “more than 8,700 employees, including special agents ... assigned to offices throughout the United States and around the world.” The agency also boasts of a “domestic footprint” of “more than 2,800 task force officers.”

Federal prosecutors have already disclosed that there were at least eight FBI informants within the Proud Boys prior to January 6. One of those informants, a member of the Kansas City Proud Boys chapter, texted his FBI handlers on December 21 that the January 6 rally “should be a concern.”

In his filing last week, Roots claimed, “at least two law enforcement agencies each outnumbered the FBI in terms of running undercover agencies, informants, and CHSs on Jan. 6.

“First, the DC Metro Police had at least 13 undercover plain-clothes agents. ... Next, there appear to have been some 19 CHSs on Jan. 6 belong to an agency called HIS [sic]…

“When added to the 8 FBI CHSs now acknowledged by the prosecutors, this means that there were at least forty (40) undercover informants or agents doing surveillance among defendants on January 6.”

On April 11 the Trump-appointed judge overseeing the trial, Timothy Kelly, denied the motion by Roots to compel release of more information about these alleged informants.

While the motion was denied, the amount of communication that has been revealed during the trial between the fascist militia members and the police is so overwhelming that last month prosecutors were forced to disclose more text messages exchanged between the former chairman of the group, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department intelligence officer Shane Lamond.

Lamond, a 22-year veteran of the police department, has been on “administrative leave” since last February pending the results of a federal investigation concerning his relationship with Tarrio.

Earlier in the trial, Tarrio’s defense attorney Sabino Jauregui tried to compel Lamond to testify in Tarrio’s defense. This failed after Lamond’s attorneys indicated their client would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify.

Seeking to show that the Proud Boys were upfront with the police about their plans, Jauregui revealed text messages exchanged between Tarrio and Lamond which showed Tarrio telling the cop where he and other Proud Boys would be rallying, along with messages where the two talked about “grabbing drinks” together.

The next day, prosecutors responded by entering into the record 46 text messages exchanged between the pair beginning on October 24, 2019 through the last week of December 2020. Tarrio was arrested on January 4, 2021 for burning a Black Lives Matter banner during a “Stop the Steal” rally that was held on December 12, 2020.

The messages show that Lamond’s relationship with Tarrio went beyond drinks. Lamond tipped off Tarrio on possible arrests of him and other Proud Boys and the location of alleged “antifa.”

On December 11, 2020, Lamond texted Tarrio locations within D.C. where there were alleged “antifa” activists. Lamond asked Tarrio if he wanted him to share the location of the alleged antifascists with other police officers or keep the information to himself and the Proud Boys, thereby allowing the militia group the opportunity to assault and beat their political opponents, free from police interference.

Trump supporters, fascists, Fox News hosts and disoriented pseudo-left journalists have seized on the penetration of the Proud Boys and other right-wing militia groups by the government. They all claim that the presence of these agents proves that January 6 was not only not a coup but in a fact a “deep state” government plot to entrap Trump and his gullible but honest supporters.

Actually, the fascist members of the militia groups, including Oath Keepers and Three Percenters as well as Proud Boys, were summoned to Washington by Trump and his political agents to attack Congress and block the certification of election, preventing Trump’s defeat. The messages show that government and police agents used their positions to protect the Proud Boys from the repercussions of their criminal actions.

This was revealed in an exchange on December 18, 2020 between Lamond and Tarrio. Seeking to protect Tarrio from “hate crime” enhancements, Lamond informed the former chairman of the Proud Boys that Metropolitan Police investigators were asking him if the Proud Boys were racist, in relation to the burning of the Black Lives Matter banner.

Lamond texted Tarrio that he told investigators the Proud Boys had non-white members “so [it was] not a racist thing.” Lamond also informed Tarrio that the FBI was not investigating him for the burning of the banner, “Just us” (Metropolitan Police).

“Awesome,” Tarrio replied.

There is no question that there were more messages exchanged between the pair that have yet to be revealed. On November 7, 2020, the day the major media networks called the election for Joe Biden, Lamond wrote to Tarrio, “Need to switch to encrypted” messaging.

The Washington Post reported that on November 7, Lamond told “a Pentagon security official” that “chatter” about Proud Boys mobilizing for violence was “totally fake news.

“Spoke with my source,” Lamond wrote, “totally fake news and taken out of context.”

A month later, Lamond repeated this assessment to Metropolitan Police. “From my source about Jan. 6, if we do [come] it’ll be extremely small and not in colors. No-night march.” The Post reported that on January 1, 2021, Lamond told the head of the intelligence division at the Capitol Police, Jack Donohue, “Enrique and his ‘exec staff’ are coming dressed in all black but I think dressed up, not like antifa.”

The text messages between Lamond and Tarrio totally shatter the lies advanced by FBI, including director Christopher Wray, and the January 6 Select Committee, that the reason the Capitol was left defenseless was because of alleged “intelligence failures.”

Less than two months after the attack, testifying before Congress in March 2021, FBI counter-terrorism official Jill Sanborn falsely claimed that the FBI did not have knowledge of the Proud Boys plans because the agency did not have the authority to monitor “First Amendment-protected activities,” telling Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema, “It’s not within our authorities.”

In the text messages turned over by prosecutors, Lamond told Tarrio, “Alerts are being sent out to [Law Enforcement] that Parler accounts belong to your people are talking about mobilizing and ‘taking back the country,’ Getting people spun up.”

In a different Senate hearing on the attack also held in March 2021, Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar helped Wray lay the groundwork for the “intelligence failures” narrative by gently questioning him about the supposed lack of informants within the Proud Boys.

Referring to the Proud Boys use of “Chinese encrypted radios and military gear,” Klobuchar commiserated with Wray, “There must be moments where you think if we could have known, if we could have infiltrated this group or found out what they were doing. Do you have those moments?”

Wray responded, “Absolutely ... we aim to bat a thousand percent and to thwart every attack that is out there ... you can be darn tootin’ that we are focused very, very hard on how we can get better sources, better information, better analysis, so that we can make sure that something like what happened on January 6 never happens again.”

In reality, Wray’s agents and those of several other police and intelligence agencies had been rubbing shoulders with the fascist attackers for many weeks before January 6 and were well informed about their plans, which they permitted to unfold without the slightest opposition.