The FBI had an informant in the crowd during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, according to the New York Times. The informer was a member of a Proud Boys chapter from the Midwest.
The informant revealed to the FBI that the Proud Boys had no intention of becoming violent of entering the Capitol Building. In fact, its leaders gave specific instructions to only take defensive actions should left-wing groups attacked.
The informant, who was not identified, was affiliated with a Midwest chapter of the Proud Boys is said to have begun working for the FBI in July of 2020.
The Times was able to get its hands on confidential reports that the informant made of his activities. The group had rented an Airbnb and they checked in on the morning of January 5th in the early AM in Virginia.
The New York Times reported:
“The records say that the informant entered the Capitol after debating whether to do so with his compatriots. He then told his handlers, according to the records, that after police officers informed him that someone — possibly the pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt — had been shot inside the building, he left the through a window.”
“On the eve of the attack, the records show, the informant said that the group had no plans to engage in violence the next day except to defend itself from potential assaults from leftist activists.”
The informant noted:
“Proud Boys leaders gave explicit orders to maintain a defensive posture on Jan. 6.” During an interview with the FBI in April, the insider said that he “never heard any discussion that day about stopping the Electoral College process.”
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Prosecutors have brought charges relating to the Capitol riot against more than 600 people, and filed conspiracy charges against 15 members of the Proud Boys for their alleged actions on Jan. 6.
A Reuters report in August alleged there was insufficient reason to believe that the Capitol riots was a coordinated attempt to launch an insurrection against the U.S. government. The report stated, “The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result,” citing four current and former law enforcement officials.