The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed yet another government informant, according to an attorney for one of the Proud Boys facing a seditious conspiracy case tied to January 6.
This latest twist came on Wednesday when the government conveyed to the defense that this person, who was set to appear on behalf of one of the defendants on Thursday, served as a “Confidential Human Source” (CHS) from April 2021 through at least January 2023, according to a court filing.
“During this period of time, the CHS has been in contact via telephone, text messaging and other electronic means, with one or more of the counsel for the defense and at least one defendant,” attorney Carmen Hernandez wrote.
The informant, who was not identified in the court filing, also participated in prayer meetings with members of one or more of the defendants’ families and engaged in conversations with one of the defendant’s family members about replacing one of the defense counsel, the attorney added.
Hernandez, who is representing Zachary Rehl, made the assertions in a motion that seeks to compel the disclosure of all FBI interview reports as well as DOJ memos relating to the recording and reporting of the defense team.
U.S. District Court Judge Tim Kelly had told U.S. government to respond to the filing by 9 a.m. on Thursday, but then ordered the deadline to be extended to the afternoon followed by a hearing on the motion and pushed back the trial to resume on Friday.
In light of explosive defense motion filed this afternoon, Proud Boys trial tomorrow is postponed till Friday. Hearing will be held at 3pm on the motion. Govt ordered to respond to it by 1pm tomorrow. … 1/2 pic.twitter.com/R5FIY7gziJ
— Roger Parloff (@rparloff) March 22, 2023
The case involves Rehl, former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, and three other members — Joe Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola — who were indicted in federal court for seditious conspiracy and other offenses related to January 6, 2021, the day a crowd of people entered the U.S. Capitol and disrupted lawmakers who were meeting to certify Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Already, the Justice Department indicated the FBI had upwards of eight informants inside the Proud Boys leading up to January 6. The New York Times, which reported these revelations in November, insisted that no “evidence has surfaced” suggesting that the FBI “played any role in the attack.”
Others are more skeptical, including Julie Kelly, a senior writer for American Greatness who has been closely following this story. She reacted to the court filing on Wednesday by saying, “DOJ asked Judge Kelly to force defense team to vet questions related to FBI informants WITH THE GOVERNMENT before any were asked in front of the jury. Kelly, of course, complied. Now we know why.” The writer also opined that the DOJ “knows they have a terribly weak case.”
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The Proud Boys trial has endured multiple delays and tense moments, including earlier this month when the federal judge blocked the questioning of witnesses on the bulk of unintentionally-disclosed FBI messages.
The filing on Wednesday from Hernandez said the defendants are “preparing a separate motion to dismiss the Indictment or for an evidentiary hearing, raising serious and substantiated allegations of governmental misconduct surrounding the surreptitious invasion and interference of the defense team by the government through a confidential human source, at the government’s behest.”
Roughly 26 months after the U.S. Capitol breach, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia says more than 1,000 arrests have been made in connection to January 6 and notes more than 500 defendants have pleaded guilty, including four to a federal charge of seditious conspiracy.