According to his version of events, Proud Boys members were largely following the mob “consumed by a herd mentality” rather than a pre-planned attack.
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On Friday, the US House Committee on Homeland Security issued subpoenas to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino, and then-Pentagon official Kashyap Patel in relation to the 6 January Capitol riot.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had an informant among those who stormed the US Capitol on 6 January, The New York Times reported Saturday, citing confidential records.
The unnamed informant was affiliated with the Midwest chapter of the right-wing group Proud Boys. According to his version of the events, described in the report, the Proud Boys members were largely following the mob “consumed by a herd mentality” rather than carrying out any kind of a pre-planned attack.
According to him, the Proud Boys members did not have any plans to engage in violence on the eve of the attack.
The reported informant entered the Capitol after debating whether or not to do so, and left shortly after he was told by his handler that someone – Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, as the report suggests – had been shot. The informant himself did not break anything or injure anyone.
The records cited by the NYT do not elaborate on whether the informant was in a good position to know about any plans in regard to the events in January, nor do they reveal his motives for cooperating with the government.
“While the FBI’s standard practice is not to discuss its sources and methods, it is important to understand that sources provide valuable information regarding criminal activity and national security matters,” the bureau said, cited by the outlet.
Even though, according to the report, law enforcement had a greater presence during the riot than had previously been assumed, the authorities are still struggling to find out whether there was a conspiracy involved in the Capitol riot.
In March, several Proud Boys leaders were charged with conspiracy against the government, with the FBI investigation into the riot still ongoing. Prosecutors accuse right-wing groups of pre-planning the attack, financing it, and providing the rioters with equipment.
Recently, the US House Committee on Homeland Security issued subpoenas to several former Trump officials, including ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, over their alleged role in the Capitol riot.
According to the subpoenas, the four former officials are required to appear at depositions; Meadows and Scavino on 14 October 2021, and Patel and Bannon on 15 October 2021.
The Capitol riot, which former US President Donald Trump was accused of inciting, took place on 6 January 2021, claiming five lives, including that of a Capitol police officer. Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
House Democrats impeached him for a second time during his term, accusing him of inciting insurrection, but the Senate later acquitted him.