June 9, 2023
Proud Boy FBI informant testifies to knowing nothing of planned Jan. 6 attack

Proud Boy FBI informant testifies to knowing nothing of planned Jan. 6 attack

A Proud Boy who descended on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 testified Wednesday to knowing nothing about a plan to storm the building.

“Aaron” — an FBI snitch testifying in the seditious conspiracy trial of Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio and four top lieutenants — compared the chaos at former President Donald Trump’s 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally to a “circus” where things got out of control, but vowed the violence was not organized by the group.

His testimony was consistent with information he provided his FBI handler as Trump loyalists began running amok on Capitol Hill.

“If there was any violence and all that, [the FBI] would have wanted to know,” Aaron told a Washington D.C. court of his proactive communication with his handler that day.

Proud Boys members Zachary Rehl, left, and Ethan Nordean, walk toward the U.S. Capitol in Washington, in support of President Donald Trump, Jan. 6, 2021.

Aaron also testified he was not a senior figure in the group he joined in 2019, and had no ties to Tarrio or his Proud Boy confidants. The witness told jurors he’s had a relationship with the FBI since 2008 but clarified they never asked him to join the Proud Boys, report on them, or march with the extremist group in D.C.

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Aaron also wasn’t involved in social media exchanges between group members leading up to the Jan. 6 riot. But he did tell his FBI contact during the attack that Proud Boys “did not do it, nor inspire” the violence.

“The crowd did as a herd mentality,” Aaron texted. “Not organized.”

Prosecutors pushed back Wednesday, suggesting Aaron only sent that text to keep himself and his cohorts out of trouble. Jurors saw video of Aaron and another Proud Boy using a podium to keep a security gate open.

Tarrio, who was arrested on unrelated charges days before the Jan. 6 blitz, wasn’t in D.C. when the violence happened, but told supporters on a group chat to “do what must be done,” then to “do it again” when the Capitol was invaded.

Further testimony is expected from informants who began working with feds before and after the Jan. 6 attack. Conspiracy theorists including Fox News host Tucker Carlson have suggested the FBI entrapped Trump fanatics protesting the outcome of the 2020 election. There’s been no evidence to back that claim.

The defendants face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.

With News Wire Services

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