At least 40 undercover police officers, informants, and federal agents monitored the Proud Boys on Jan. 6, 2021, a new federal court filing alleges.
Proud Boys defendant Dominic Pezzola filed a motion on April 5 seeking to compel federal prosecutors to “reveal all informants, undercover operatives and other confidential human sources [CHSs] relating to the events of Jan. 6.”
The motion—filed by attorney Roger Roots—alleges that most of the law enforcement officials watching the Proud Boys in Washington on Jan. 6 were not with the FBI.
The largest group of confidential human sources [informants] was being run by Homeland Security Investigations, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the document states.
“DC Metro Police had at least 13 undercover plain-clothes agents among the Proud Boys and other patriots on Jan. 6,” the motion said. “Next, there appear to have been some 19 CHSs on Jan. 6 belonging to an agency called HSI (Homeland Security Investigations).
“When added to the eight FBI CHSs now acknowledged by the prosecutors, this means that there were at least 40 undercover informants or agents doing surveillance among defendants on Jan. 6.”
According to the HSI website: “HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.
“HSI’s mission is to investigate, disrupt and dismantle terrorist, transnational, and other criminal organizations that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States.”
Refers to MPD Operatives
The motion cites information revealed in recent court filings by Jan. 6 defendant William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, who disclosed several undercover MPD officers whom prosecutors acknowledge were acting as provocateurs near and on the northwest steps at the Capitol.
“Pezzola submits that the entire defense in this trial, including opening, cross, and defense cases, would have been different and much more aggressive if defense counsel had known of the scope and scale of undercover government operations on Jan. 6,” Roots said.
“Prosecutors made arguments contrary to information they possessed and withheld, and defense counsel could have lodged different cross-examination and direct examination questions if they had known of these materials.”
The motion says that prosecutors had a duty to inform defense counsel about the informants working on Jan. 6 for agencies other than the FBI.
“The federal prosecutors, in this case, are refusing to disclose information regarding these non-FBI informants,” he said. “The existence and likely conduct of these CHSs is almost certainly exculpatory for Pezzola.”
The DOJ, which has a policy not to comment outside of court filings, has not yet responded to Pezzola’s motion.
The use of federal informants has been a pivotal issue in the prosecution of Proud Boys defendants Pezzola, Zachary Rehl, Enrique Tarrio, Joe Biggs, and Ethan Nordean.
The men are accused of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct official proceedings, obstruction of official proceedings, and conspiracy to prevent certain federal officers from performing their duties at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Tarrio, Rehl, Nordean, and Biggs face nine criminal counts related to the Capitol breach, and Pezzola is charged with 10.
Defense attorneys earlier suggested that an FBI informant from Texas might have been spying on defense counsel and families of the defendants. Prosecutors denied the allegation.
An FBI informant who joined the Proud Boys and helped breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, says there was an understanding that he could commit crimes in certain situations.
The informant, named Aaron in court, said he spoke with his handling agent before traveling to Washington.
The Epoch Times has reached out to HSI for comment.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report