On Wednesday, Roger Roots, the lawyer for defendant Dominic Pezzola, revealed that there were at least 40 undercover informants working as part of law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance among defendants on January 6th.
Pezzola, an American Proud Boys member, is in jail and faces charges including seditious conspiracy for his involvement in the Capitol riot on January 6th. On Thursday, Pezzola’s defense filed a motion to reveal all undercover informants related to the January 6 case.
The filed document said that there were multiple undercover law enforcement officers present during the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, with at least 40 undercover informants or agents conducting surveillance among the defendants.
Roots said, “Some of these undercover Metro officers marched with the Proud Boy march, and some appear to have played roles of instigators, in that they are seen on body-worn videos chanting ‘Go! Go!,’ ‘Stop the Steal!,’ and ‘Whose house? Our house!’ on Jan. 6. Others generally followed demonstrators toward the Capitol.”
The FBI has acknowledged the presence of eight confidential human sources (CHSs) among the Proud Boys, but it is now known that at least two other agencies had more undercover agents, informants, and CHSs than the FBI.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) had at least 13 plainclothes agents, while Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) had 19 CHSs. Some of the undercover officers belonging to the MPD are seen on video and in private texts instigating the crowd to storm the Capitol.
The scope and scale of the undercover government operations on January 6th could have impacted the defense strategies if defense counsel had known about it earlier. The government is accused of withholding exculpatory information, and defense lawyers argue that the newly disclosed information supports the Proud Boys’ assessment of antifa prior to January 6th.
The defense claims they are entitled to know every Homeland Security Investigations CHS operating among Proud Boys and Capitol protestors on Jan. 6th.