Prosecutors Reveal Planned Proud Boys Witness Was Informant


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal prosecutor said Wednesday that a witness is due to testify against the defense. Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario’s inflammatory conspiracy trial After the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, four associates were secretly operating as government informants, defense attorneys told the court.

Former Proud Boys chapter leader Zachary Lehr’s attorney, Carmen Hernandez, told the judge that an immediate emergency hearing would be scheduled “until these issues are considered and resolved,” and that the trial will be held. Attorneys for the other four defendants also joined Hernandez’s request.

Hernandez said in court documents that his defense team was told by prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon that the witness they planned to summon to the witness stand on Thursday was a government informant.

The judge ordered prosecutors to submit responses to the defense’s submission by Thursday afternoon and scheduled a hearing the same day, deferring testimony in the case until Friday. The US Attorney’s Office did not immediately comment on the filing.

Hernandez told the court that an unnamed informant had attended a “prayer meeting” with at least one relative of the Proud Boys on trial and discussed replacing one of the lawyers with the family. The informant is also in contact with at least one of the defense attorneys and at least one of the five defendants, Hernandez writes.

This is the latest twist on the exam ever. got stuck in an argument between a lawyer and a judge And already lasted much longer than expected. Defense attorneys have repeatedly asked, to no avail, for the judge to declare an unfair trial on various issues they claim are unfair to their clients.

The trial in federal court in Washington is one of the most serious cases to emerge from the January 6 attacks. Tario, Rail, and his three other Proud Boys (Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordine, and Dominic Pesola) to block the transfer of presidential power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election. was charged with conspiring to

Tario, who lives in Miami, far-right extremist group Its members describe it as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists”. He and the other Proud Boys could face up to his 20-year prison sentence if convicted of the sedition conspiracy.

Attorneys say there is no evidence that the Proud Boys attacked the Capitol and attempted to stop Congress from proving Biden’s election victory.

Hernandez did not name the informant in the court filing, but said he worked as a “classified source” for the federal government from April 2021 until at least January 2023. I was. She is a potential witness in the trial, but she didn’t inform defense attorneys until Wednesday that the witness was a federal informant, she said.

This is not the first time that the government’s use of informants has become an issue in this case. Defense attorneys have repeatedly asked for more information about the far-right extremist group’s informants in an attempt to overturn the idea that the group had plans to attack the capital on January 6. I’ve been asking

FBI agent Nicole Miller testified last week that she knew two informants for the Proud Boys, including one who marched in the capital on January 6.

“There are reasons to question the veracity of the government’s account and the justification for withholding information about[confidential human sources]involved in the incident,” Hernandez said. Couldn’t reach out straight away to ask.

Law enforcement agencies routinely use informants in criminal investigations, but their methods and identities can be a closely guarded secret. Federal officials have not released much information about their use of informants in investigating the role of the Proud Boys in the January 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

Originally from Auburn, Washington, Nordean was the leader of the Proud Boys chapter. Originally from Ormond Beach, Florida, Biggs was the host of the self-proclaimed Proud Boys. Rehl was president of his Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia. Pezora was a member of the Proud Boys from Rochester, New York.


Boston-based AP writer Alana Durkin Richter contributed to this report.