- A far-right Proud Boys member and an FBI informant were texting his master during the January 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times reported.
- The FBI was investigating at least two other January 6 rioters with potential ties to the Proud Boys, according to the report.
- Records appear to show the FBI had advanced knowledge that members of the Proud Boys were heading for the Capitol.
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A member of the Proud Boys who worked as an FBI informant was present during the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol and sent his FBI manager live updates via text message, indicating that the forces of the The order had real-time knowledge that a pro-Trump crowd was heading towards the building.
According to a New York Times report on Saturday, the informant was updating his manager as the pro-Trump mob marched to U.S. Capitol 6 as lawmakers gathered inside to discuss and certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
The informant, who was associated with the organization’s Midwest section, told the FBI that members of the Proud Boys were following the crowd but maintained the group had no plans to attack the U.S. Capitol.
The informant described meeting other members of the Proud Boys at the Washington Monument on the morning of Jan.6 before moving to Capitol Hill, according to records, according to the Times. The informant described seeing barriers knocked down and Trump supporters entering the building.
The manager did not appear to understand that the Capitol had been breached, according to records obtained by The Times. The tapes were provided to the point of sale on the grounds that he would not cite them directly, the report said.
The informant began working with federal investigators in July 2020, according to records, according to the Times.
The records do not indicate whether the informant could have intentionally misled federal investigators, according to the report. The informant’s statements pose difficulty for federal prosecutors who aim to argue that rioters in the capital associated with the Proud Boys had planned in advance to storm the building.
Prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against 15 members of the Proud Boys over the January 6 riot, the Times noted. In total, at least 654 people faced charges related to their participation in the January 6 riot, according to an Insider database.
The FBI was investigating at least two other people involved in the Jan.6 riot who may have been linked to the Proud Boys, according to the report.
A person familiar with the situation told the New York Times that the FBI had another informant present on January 6 who was affiliated with another chapter of the Proud Boys.
“While it is not standard practice for the FBI to discuss its sources and methods, it is important to understand that the sources provide valuable information on criminal activity and national security matters,” the FBI told the New York Times in a statement.