The attorneys for five Proud Boys who are on trial for ‘seditious conspiracy’ have been informed that a witness they called on behalf of the defense has been a government informant since 2021. Carmen Hernandez, an attorney for one of the Proud Boys, said that the informant has been in contact with more than one member of the council for the defense and at least one defendant since the trial began. The ongoing trial is one of the most high-profile cases to stem from the protest on January 6th. According to the court, the informant has worked for the government as a “confidential source” from April 2021 to at least January 2023. Lawyers for the Proud Boys are now asking for more information on the government’s source, concerned that whoever it is could have been asking for privileged information about the defense team while attending “prayer meetings” with some of the defendants’ families.
By Jeffrey Rodack; March 23, 2023
The attorneys for five Proud Boys on trial on charges stemming from the Capitol breach say they have been informed by prosecutors that a witness they had planned to call on behalf of the defense has been a government informant since 2021, Politico is reporting.
“During this period of time, the [informant] 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,” said Carmen Hernandez, an attorney for one of the five Proud Boys, Zachary Rehl, in a motion asking for more information on informants in the case.
Hernandez filed the motion on behalf of all five defendants, who are on trial on charges of seditious conspiracy. Those defendants include Enrique Tarrio, the Proud Boys’ former national chairman. In court papers filed Wednesday, Hernandez said the informant attended “prayer meetings” with one of the defendants’ families and also discussed the makeup of the defense team.
Hernandez said in the court papers that prosecutors told the defense team on Wednesday afternoon that the witness they were planning to call to testify on Thursday had been working for the government, Politico said.
The informant was not named in the court papers. But Hernandez claimed she was told the witness was a “confidential human source” for the government since April 2021 through at least Jan. 2023.
The judge in the case told prosecutors to file a response to the defense’s court papers by Thursday afternoon, The Associated Press noted.
The wire services said the trial is one of the most serious cases to come from the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach.
Tarrio, Rehl, and three other Proud Boys — Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, and Dominic Pezzola — are charged with conspiring to block the transfer of presidential power from former President Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election, according to the AP.
The defense attorneys have maintained there is no evidence the Proud Boys plotted to attack the Capitol and prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s electoral victory.
Photo: AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster