In yet another accusation of the FBI and Department of Justice crossing some severe ethical lines, a new motion has been filed related to the DOJ’s prosecution of the Proud Boys.
The instant motion, filed by attorneys for the five Proud Boys members on trial, claims that one of the witnesses the defense had prepped and was going to call as a witness is a Justice Department informant. The revelation calls into question whether or not DOJ informants have been informing on the defense team and their strategy to the DOJ – a serious violation in the court system.
In the three-page filing, Hernandez expressed frustration that the Justice Department had not shared more details with the defense team about the informants used in the investigation.
The information about the newly disclosed confidential source, she noted, came a day before one of the defendants was prepared to call this witness to the stand.
Prosecutors have bristled at claims of impropriety, noting that they have made nearly 10 confidential sources available to testify as part of the defense case who could discuss their contacts with the bureau. But the Justice Department is resisting efforts by the Proud Boys defense team to demand testimony from FBI agents who handled those informants and were in touch with them in the days and weeks leading to Jan. 6.
The judge in the case had asked prosecutors for a response, which was due at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.
The trial has subsequently been delayed as the judge has called a hearing on the new evidence of the confidential human source (CHS).
UPDATE: The Proud Boys trial is canceled for today and instead there will be a hearing this afternoon on the new evidence of informants disclosed to the defense yesterday. https://t.co/TK4cwXAwuw pic.twitter.com/YWkpqTasuQ
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 23, 2023
Attorneys for the Proud Boys have called the latest revelation a case of “governmental misconduct surrounding the surreptitious invasion and interference of the defense team by the government” through its informant, which “has been in contact via telephone, text messaging and other electronic means, with one or more of the counsel for the defense and at least one defendant.”
That informant also “participated in prayer meetings with members of one or more of the defendants’ families.”
More from that filing:
The allegations about the existence of yet one more previously undisclosed CHS after various other alleged full and complete disclosures of all the CHS’s involved in the case demonstrate that there are reasons to doubt the veracity of the government’s explanation and justification for withholding information about the CHSs who have been involved in the case. Moreover, the government disclosed this information for the first time on the day before the witness was scheduled to appear.
Attorneys for the defense have long raised questions about the use of confidential informants within the Proud Boys in the days and weeks leading up to the January 6 riot at the Capitol, including their involvement with the actual chaos in Washington that day. While the prosecution has made several of those informants available for the trial, the defense is pushing for all information pertaining to the use of informants, and they are suggesting it’s far more than what the DOJ has provided thus far.
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