Saturday, May 18, 2024

DOJ Seeks to Suppress Questions about FBI Informant Participation in J6

'Plainly, there are relevant questions defense counsel may pose to FBI agents to provide context for the jury about this evidence...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USAProsecutors in the ongoing Proud Boys sedition conspiracy trial have filed a motion to restrict defendants from asking questions about FBI informants who marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

This was revealed Sunday by defendant Ethan Nordean, one of the leaders of the Proud Boys. According to Nordean, prosecutors made a sealed filing the day before, asking the judge on Saturday to require defense attorneys to “pre-clear” any questions they intend to ask witnesses about FBI informants.

Prosecutors seek to restrict questions about FBI informants to protect “sources and methods,” and because “the identities of most of the informants whose information has been disclosed to defense counsel in this case are unknown to almost all of the agents the government expects to call as witnesses in this trial,” according to Nordean.

Nordean called the government’s reasons “unprecedented nonsense.”

“Plainly, there are relevant questions defense counsel may pose to FBI agents to provide context for the jury about this evidence, such as what an [informant] is in the first place, why an [informant] would have been communicating with a handler agent on January 6, what a handler agent is, and the like,” Nordean said in his opposition to the prosecution’s request.

“Even if those agents are still somehow unaware of the legal names of [informants]—despite the fact that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has had knowledge of them for perhaps a year or longer—the agents are still competent to field relevant related questions, such as those concerning the authenticity and meaning of FBI records establishing that certain [informants] were indeed present with the Proud Boys group on the march and in Proud Boys Telegram channels,” he added.

Nordean faces a seditious conspiracy charge, as do fellow Proud Boys Zachary Rehl, Enrique Tarrio, Dominic Pezzola and Joseph Biggs.

Even anti-Trump outlets have raised questions about the role FBI informants played in the Proud Boys and Jan. 6. The New York Times reported last November that there were “as many as eight informants” in the Proud Boys around Jan. 6, which the newspaper acknowledged raised questions about federal foreknowledge of the attack.

The Proud Boys sedition trial started earlier this month, was paused last week, and resumed Monday with the cross-examination of former Proud Boy Matt Greene, who struck a plea deal in exchange for testifying against the defendants. The presiding judge hadn’t addressed Nordean’s motion before this article’s publication.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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