In mid June, Revolver News published a groundbreaking investigative report arguing that certain elements of the federal government not only had foreknowledge of the events of 1/6, but that some senior members of the major militia groups blamed for the so-called “insurrection” were actually federal informants or undercover operatives themselves.
Scarcely three months after this report, the New York Times took the occasion of a sleepy Saturday morning to quietly confirm that there were indeed FBI informants among those militia members who “stormed the Capitol.”
As scores of Proud Boys made their way, chanting and shouting, toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, one member of the far-right group was busy texting a real-time account of the march.
The recipient was his F.B.I. handler.
In the middle of an unfolding melee that shook a pillar of American democracy — the peaceful transfer of power — the bureau had an informant in the crowd, providing an inside glimpse of the action, according to confidential records obtained by The New York Times. [NYT]
We learn that this particular informant, affiliated with a Midwest chapter of the Proud Boys militia group, provided the FBI advance warning that he would be traveling to DC along with other Proud Boys. The informant also kept his FBI handler in the loop as the “storming of the Capitol” unfolded throughout the day on the 6th.The piece goes on to reference an “additional informant from another Proud Boys chapter that took part in the sacking of the Capitol.”
The confirmed existence of at least two (and likely many more) FBI informants who went into the Capitol strengthens the case for federal foreknowledge to such an extent that even the New York Times was compelled to acknowledge the following:
But the records, and information from two people familiar with the matter, suggest that federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of whether this “far greater visibility” amounts to genuine foreknowledge regarding the events of 1/6, as the Times piece strongly suggests it does. We elaborated on the implications of federal foreknowledge of 1/6 in our initial report:
If it turns out that the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, or a similar agency) had undercover agents or confidential informants embedded in any of the groups involved in 1/6, the “federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence” looks less like an innocent mistake and more like something sinister.
Indeed, if the federal government knew of a potential for violence in or around the Capitol on 1/6 and failed to call for heightened security, the agencies responsible may in fact be legally liable for the damages incurred during that day.
It is unsettling to entertain the possibility that the federal government knew of a potential for violence on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it. It presents the question: why would agencies, or certain elements within, sit back and let something like this happen on purpose?
The notion that the FBI and possibly other agencies had foreknowledge of what was going to take place on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it, ostensibly for political reasons, is damning indeed. This is why the idea that 1/6 was the product of an “intelligence failure” has been such an important and carefully defended aspect of the Regime’s official narrative. In other words, it wasn’t that the intelligence agencies knew what might take place on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it—rather, the Capitol just happened to have uniquely poor security and mysterious multi-hour delays for back-up, all as a result of “intelligence failure,”—a failure of “visibility,” as it were.
We see a version of this “intelligence failure” narrative, for instance, in the conclusion of a five-month long bipartisan Senate investigation into the causes of 1/6:
A bipartisan Senate investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection found security and intelligence failures at every level of government that led to the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as lawmakers in a joint session were certifying the 2020 election.
The 95-page report, a product of a roughly five-month, joint probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees, found significant breakdowns ranging “from federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence to a lack of planning and preparation by (U.S. Capitol Police) and law enforcement leadership.” [ABC]
Senator Amy Klobuchar cleverly affirmed the “intelligence failure” thesis even as she obliquely asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about the presence of informants in militia groups imputed to the 1/6 “insurrection.”
Note how Christopher Wray is able to uncomfortably weasel his way out of answering the question directly, partially because Klobuchar does him the courtesy of not asking him the question directly.
Klobuchar asks the FBI director if he wishes he had infiltrated the militia organizations allegedly involved in 1/6 — assuming from the outset that there was in fact no infiltration, thereby providing the FBI director an easy way to avoid addressing the question one way or another.
Now, as a result of the recent New York Times piece, we definitely know that the premise of Sen. Klobuchar’s non-question was false. We know for a fact that there were at least two FBI informants posturing as militiamen who stormed the Capitol, and probably many more. We know that said informants notified the FBI of the Proud Boys’ plans to go to DC in advance, were part of the Proud Boys’ group chats, were embedded inside Proud Boys crowds beginning at 10 a.m. that morning, and that at least one informant was giving his FBI handler real-time updates as the events of 1/6 developed — including from inside the Capitol this informant stormed.
What this all means is that if the Regime and their busboys in the media want to continue to deny federal foreknowledge of the so-called 1/6 “insurrection” they can no longer do so on the basis of the idea that the Feds failed to properly infiltrate the key militia groups associated with said “insurrection.” Indeed, their problem may be just the opposite.
One way for “insurrection” proponents to salvage their claim that there was no federal foreknowledge of 1/6 is to now assert there was no pre-planning on the part of the insurrectionists themselves. A trend towards this new narrative was suggested by several anonymous FBI sources, as recently reported by Reuters:
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, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.
Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations. [Reuters]
The main purpose of the narrative shift reflected in the Reuters report above is to manage expectations regarding indictments and prosecutions of both Trump’s inner circle and key militia groups allegedly involved in 1/6. The Feds need to manage public opinion about the culpability of Trump’s inner circle (as well as figures such as Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and others) because there simply isn’t enough evidence for a serious case. The Feds need to manage public opinion regarding the prosecution of key militia leaders because, as Revolver has reported extensively, it is very likely that many of them are actually federal agents or informants themselves.
The new notion that there was suddenly no coordination or organized plot behind 1/6 serves a convenient purpose, however, in preserving the official narrative that there was no federal foreknowledge of 1/6. If there was no foreplanning on the part of the “insurrectionists,” there could be no foreknowledge on the part of the federal government. This means that the government is absolved from the most sinister charge: knowing something was going to happen, and letting it happen on purpose.
Interestingly, the Proud Boys informant featured in the New York Times piece himself affirms the “no foreplanning” version of events:
In the informant’s version of events, the Proud Boys, famous for their street fights, were largely following a pro-Trump mob consumed by a herd mentality rather than carrying out any type of preplanned attack.
In lengthy interviews, the records say, he also denied that the extremist organization planned in advance to storm the Capitol. The informant’s identity was not disclosed in the records.
The records describing the informant’s account of Jan. 6 — excerpts from his interviews and communications with the F.B.I. before, during and after the riot — dovetail with assertions made by defense lawyers who have argued that even though several Proud Boys broke into the Capitol, the group did not arrive in Washington with a preset plot to storm the building. [NYT]
While the version of events that there was no foreplanning on the part of so-called “insurrectionists” conveniently absolves the federal government of 1/6 foreknowledge, it is absolutely devastating to other fundamental aspects of the official narrative.
First, it is devastating to the government’s conspiracy cases against both the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. A group of conspirators cannot agree to a pre-planned plot without either planning or a plot. The entire conspiracy indictment of 16 Oath Keepers in Caldwell et. al presupposes that disparate defendants agreed to a common plan to stop the Senate vote on 1/6, which had been cooked up months or days in advance. Federal prosecutors lay out a case against them that includes a November 9 GoToMeeting, a November 10 public post on Oathkeepers.org, a November 17 recruiting effort, a vast array of emails and Facebook posts between December 3 and December 26, text messages into early January, and a “Call To Action” on January 4 — among many other acts of pre-planning.
Additionally, the “no pre-planning” narrative is devastating to the theory of 1/6 advanced by the Chairman of the January 6 Commission, Rep. Bennie Thompson, himself. According to this theory, first advanced in a lawsuit with Thompson as lead plaintiff, Trump and his agents on the inside conspired with the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and agents on the outside to incite a crowd to attack the Capitol. As Revolver explained last week, Thompson claimed:
The insurrection at the Capitol was a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy. It was instigated according to a common plan that the Defendants pursued since the election held in November 2020, culminating in an assembly denominated as the “Save America” rally held at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, during which Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited a crowd of thousands to descend upon the Capitol in order to prevent or delay through the use of force the counting of Electoral College votes.
As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes, Defendants Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, through their leadership, acted in concert to spearhead the assault on the Capitol while the angry mob that Defendants Trump and Giuliani incited descended on the Capitol. The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence. It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College. [Complaint]
Funnily enough, New York Times reporter Alan Feuer himself, who published the recent revelation of multiple Proud Boy informants on the ground on 1/6, explained how important the concept of a “pre-planned attack” was to the Regime’s official narrative all the way back in May. In that interview, Feuer separated 1/6 protestors into three different “buckets.” The first bucket consisted of harmless tourists who just happened to be there; the second bucket consisted of agitated protestors who got into scuffles with the cops; and the third, most serious bucket consisted of militia-men who engaged in conspiratorial pre-planning of violence:
So you could kind of collect them into three main buckets. The first, which is probably most of the people who were at the Capitol that day and have been arrested, were people who went into the building. Sometimes they were absolutely ushered in by the cops. They walked in. They broke nothing. They hurt no one. They took some selfies. They did a livestream, and they walked out. There are a lot of those people.
So the second bucket are people who were engaged in really violent attacks against officers, people who have been accused and charged with assaulting cops.
And the third bucket, which is arguably the most serious and the bucket to which the federal government has devoted the most attention and resources, are people who have been charged with pre-planning of one sort or another — in other words, getting ready in advance of January 6 for violence, for this event, conspiring and working together.
And most of those people, though not all, have some sort of affiliation to extremist groups, like the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group that has been fighting on the streets since, really, the beginning of the Trump administration. And the Oath Keepers, which is a sort of right-wing militia style group that draws most of its membership from the ranks of former military and law enforcement personnel. [NYT]
Without this third bucket of organized conspirators engaged in “pre-planning,” January 6 was just a mostly peaceful protest.
We are now in a better position to understand a crucial strategic dilemma facing the guardians of the official 1/6 narrative. If the guardians of the narrative want to preserve the official story that the federal government had no foreknowledge of 1/6—and thus they are not guilty of letting 1/6 happen for political purposes—the guardians must maintain that there was no foreplanning on the part of the insurrectionists.
On the other hand, if there’s no pre-planned plot, there’s no agreement to a conspiracy. If there’s no conspiracy, there’s no conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys or Three Percenters. And if there’s no case, there’s no narrative. This is precisely why Alan Feuer, the NYT beat reporter for the 1/6 court cases, desperately needs there to have been a pre-planned plot. Otherwise, the flagship 1/6 cases, the premise of the 1/6 Commission, and the entire narrative against Donald Trump and his supporters, sinks like the Titanic.
No matter what, a major pillar of the official Jan 6 narrative is teetering on the brink of collapse.
It is easy to imagine how different stakeholders will prioritize the protection of one aspect of the narrative over another. Perhaps this explains all the mixed messaging. The federal government (FBI, DHS, Army Counterintelligence, all the equities of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, etc.) have the most to lose from revelations that their own insiders had foreknowledge of 1/6 on the basis of their own informants, yet did nothing to stop it. For this reason, the FBI will be most inclined to promote anything that reinforces the “lack of foreknowledge” narrative — even if it requires sacrificing the foreplanning, conspiracy element among 1/6 participants. This explains four FBI sources’ attempt to alter the narrative in the “no foreknowledge” direction via the Reuters piece last month.
On the other hand, media and political stakeholders will likely promote the conspiracy and pre-planning elements of the 1/6 official story. Their notion that militia members conspired and plotted in advance to attack the Capitol is required to establish the notion of 1/6 as a new 9/11-style terrorist attack. Their conspiracy narrative is the very essence of the criminal charges slapped on Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, which in turn served as media fodder to frame Trump supporters as domestic terrorists. Furthermore, as explained above, “foreplanning” is a key ingredient of the case being pursued by the January 6 Commission.
Although Regime media and the national security apparatus are, in the end, on the same side, there are tensions between their priorities. The media will work to zealously advance the narrative that Jan 6 was a 9/11-type pre-planned terrorist attack whose conspirators go all the way up into Trump’s inner circle. The FBI and other elements of the national security apparatus are of course interested in protecting this narrative too. It is the national security apparatus, after all, that is launching the domestic war on terror against Trump supporters largely on the basis of this “pre-planned” narrative of 1/6.
But these elements in the FBI and other counterintelligence equities likely understand that this narrative is already sufficiently sedimented in the public’s consciousness to do the work it needs to do. At this point, the narrative that 1/6 was pre-planned by militia groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys has become more of a liability for the Feds than an asset. The recent New York Times piece in question confirms the existence of at least two informants on the ground in the Proud Boys alone, and concedes that “federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known.”
Alan Feuer’s new Times piece acknowledging the existence of informants is without question an exercise in damage control, aiming to get out ahead of the revelation of more informants as the discovery process develops and the prosecution in 1/6 cases reluctantly hands over exculpatory evidence to the defense as is legally required. As still more informants are likely to be confirmed in the near future, the chances that the Feds would not have known about a pre-planned attack on the Capitol, if there actually was one, drops from negligible to impossible.
One unexplored escape route remains for those who wish to preserve the narrative that the feds had no foreknowledge, as well as the narrative that the big militia groups actually did plan certain aspects of 1/6 in advance. One could try to argue that even though we now know there were multiple informants in the Proud Boys, and we’re likely to learn of more in other militia groups, these informants were too low-level to be privy to the pre-planning that may have occurred at the very highest levels within such militia groups.
Alan Feuer seems to gesture toward this approach in the Times article, where he cites the statements of an alleged Proud Boys leader
But the records contain no indication that the informant was aware of a possible plot by Proud Boys leaders to purposefully instigate those normal Trump supporters — or what members of the group refer to as “normies” — on Jan. 6.
According to court papers in one case, a Proud Boys leader from Philadelphia wrote on the group’s Telegram channel on the morning of Jan. 6, “I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash today.” [NYT]
This quotation closely tracks Alan Feuer’s angry response to the suggestion in the Reuter’s article that there was no pre-planning and collusion regarding 1/6. Feuer further quotes persons alleged to occupy leadership roles within the Proud Boys as evidence of collusion/conspiracy:
Private communications in the FBI's possession clearly show that leaders of the Proud Boys, for example, discussed on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 their desire to "rile up the normies"–which is to say, the ordinary people in the crowd that day. https://t.co/k3NeF3nt6V
— Alan Feuer (@alanfeuer) August 20, 2021
This is the full exchange–made before the Capitol attack–about a desire among the Proud Boys for the "normies" to wreak havoc on Jan. 6. pic.twitter.com/cU18G3g7t4
— Alan Feuer (@alanfeuer) August 20, 2021
Here’s a blow-up of the image Feuer cites in the tweet above
Lost on the hapless NYT reporter Feuer is that all of the people in his own yellow highlights—most notably, the mysterious Person-1 and Person-2 doing the much-ballyhooed “coordination” and incitement—are currently being protected by the Justice Department. There are, to date, no charges filed against these Proud Boys, and nothing but total radio silence from the government on whether any charges are pending.
Does Feuer not find it strange that his best examples of conspiracy, collusion, and foreplanning on 1/6 all involve leaders of the Proud Boys who have not yet even been indicted? There could be a number of explanations for the Feds’ selective non-prosecution in this case. The so-called Michigan Kidnapping plot from October 2020 suggests one possible explanation. Readers will recall that 14 indicted plotters are now juxtaposed against at least 12 federal informants later revealed—a nearly 1:1 ratio of feds to perps. Many of those informants took a very proactive role in setting up the plot, acting on instructions from handlers to “Maximize attendance” of other militia members during conspiratorial acts. Does it not occur to Feuer that some of the senior Proud Boys leaders he cites as the best evidence for conspiracy have not yet been charged because they too might be informants or even undercover?
As it happens, Revolver addressed these two members of Proud Boys leadership “Person 1 and Person 2” (not to be confused with Person 1 and Person 2 in Oath Keepers cases) in our seminal article arguing the likelihood that some of the senior leadership of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were likely government operatives.
While federal protection of these Proud Boys from prosecution is eyebrow-raising and certainly warrants an explanation, Revolver has not done a deep enough dive into their specific cases to assess that likelihood with confidence.
We have, however, done such a deep dive into the still higher profile founder and head of the Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, known as Person One in the Oath Keepers charging documents. Barring some extremely exotic alternative explanation, the most likely reason for the fact that Rhodes has not been indicted, and not even properly searched (Feds took a single cell phone four months after 1/6), is that Rhodes has some special relationship with the federal government—whether it be FBI, Army counterintelligence, JTTF equities, or any other agency.
The likelihood that several individuals holding leadership roles in the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other 1/6 related militias were informants, or even undercover agents, creates an even bigger liability for the feds than mere foreknowledge of 1/6 poses. It would be one thing if, by virtue of its informants, the government knew what might take place on 1/6 and deliberately did nothing to stop it. This alone, as we have said, is sufficient for a national scandal.
But consider how much worse still it would be for the Feds if it turns out that not only did they know about the possibility for violence in advance, but that some of the most senior leadership of the militias blamed for the worst elements of 1/6 turned out to be undercover operatives. This would elevate the Feds’ culpability in 1/6 from letting it happen on purpose to active instigation—and potentially even entrapment.
The more that Regime reporters such as Feuer insist on focusing on alleged collusion and pre-planning in the upper leadership of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, the more dangerous it is for the Feds who are now desperate to shift the narrative away from “coordination” in order to cover their downsides. For the most part, the media will play along with this new narrative—and they certainly are taking a more subdued approach to the Feds’ worst liability, Stewart Rhodes.
It remains to be seen whether and for how long the full truth of 1/6 can be hidden from the public. What we know for sure is that the Feds are doing their utmost to prevent the truth from ever coming to light, and we at Revolver News won’t rest until every rotten detail is exposed. No matter how dark it is, the American people deserve to know what kind of country they’re really living in, for only then can they take the wise and appropriate steps to taking it back for good.S
Strap in folks, Revolver News is only getting started.