Of all the questions asked, words spoken, and ink spilled on the so-called “Capitol Siege” of January 6, 2021, none hold the key to the entire event quite like what Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked of Christopher Wray.
The Democrat from Minnesota asked the Trump-appointed FBI Director: Did the federal government infiltrate any of the so-called “militia” organizations claimed to be responsible for planning and executing the Capitol Siege?
The full segment is available on YouTube.
Christopher Wray is able to uncomfortably weasel his way out of answering the question directly, partially because Klobuchar does him the courtesy of not asking him the question directly. Klobuchar instead asks the FBI director if he wishes he had infiltrated the militia organizations allegedly involved in 1/6 — assuming from the outset that there was in fact no infiltration, thereby providing the FBI director an easy way to avoid addressing the question one way or another.
Revolver News is willing to address the matter directly in the following three questions:
From now on, all discussion of 1/6 must give way to a laser-like focus on the questions above, with an unwavering persistence at obtaining the answers.
If the narrative about 1/6 does not conform to the questions above, the American people will never learn the most important truth about what 1/6 is, and what kind of country they’re really living in.
If it turns out the federal government did in fact have undercover agents or confidential informants embedded within the so-called militia groups indicted for conspiring to obstruct the Senate certification on 1/6, the implications would be nothing short of seismic. Especially if such agents or informants enjoyed extremely senior-level positions within such groups.
One of the key consensus points among the FBI-DOJ and the regime media is the idea that, while 1/6 is primarily the fault of Trump-supporting QAnon-infused “domestic terrorists,” it is secondarily the fault of so-called “intelligence failures.”
Klobuchar’s own question at the March 2, 2021 FBI hearing (above) reinforces this “intelligence failure” narrative, but she is not alone. A five-month “bipartisan” Senate investigation recently arrived at the very same “intelligence failure” narrative to explain the breach of the Capitol and associated events on 1/6:
A bipartisan Senate investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection found security and intelligence failures at every level of government that led to the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as lawmakers in a joint session were certifying the 2020 election.
The 95-page report, a product of a roughly five-month, joint probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees, found significant breakdowns ranging “from federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence to a lack of planning and preparation by (U.S. Capitol Police) and law enforcement leadership.” There was no overall operational or staffing plan for that fateful day, a total failure of leadership, according to the committees. [ABC News]
If it turns out that the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, or a similar agency) had undercover agents or confidential informants embedded in any of the groups involved in 1/6, the “federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence” looks less like an innocent mistake and more like something sinister.
Indeed, if the federal government knew of a potential for violence in or around the Capitol on 1/6 and failed to call for heightened security, the agencies responsible may in fact be legally liable for the damages incurred during that day.
It is unsettling to entertain the possibility that the federal government knew of a potential for violence on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it. It presents the question: why would agencies, or certain elements within, sit back and let something like this happen on purpose?
A still more disturbing possibility arises from a careful study of the unindicted co-conspirators listed throughout the various charging documents of individuals facing the most serious charges related to 1/6.
We at Revolver News have noticed a pattern from our now months-long investigation into 1/6 — and in particular from our meticulous study of the charging documents related to those indicted. In many cases the unindicted co-conspirators appear to be much more aggressive and egregious participants in the very so-called “conspiracy” serving as the basis for charging those indicted.
The question immediately arises as to why this is the case, and forces us to consider whether certain individuals are being protected from indictment because they were involved in 1/6 as undercover operatives or confidential informants for a federal agency.
Here it is useful to draw a distinction between two discrete categories of participants in the so-called Capitol Siege.
The first category is the group of mostly harmless tourists who walked through already opened doors and already-removed barricades, and at most were guilty of minor trespassing charges and light property offenses. The second group consists of those who were violent with police officers, broke down barricades, smashed windows, belonged to a “militia” group engaged in military-style planning prior to the event, discussed transporting heavy weaponry, and so forth.
Up until now, the overwhelming (perhaps exclusive) share of counter-establishment reporting on 1/6 has focused on absolving the first group. And this is a valuable thing. The notion that these harmless “MAGA moms” wandering around the Capitol were domestic terrorists engaged in an insurrection is absurd. That many of these people are being held in prison, without bail, under harsh conditions, amounts to an unacceptable and outrageous abuse of basic human rights.
However, the possibility that the federal government had undercover operatives or informants involved in the events of 1/6, from its planning to its execution, compels us to turn our attention to the second category of participants.
We are especially interested in the unindicted co-conspirators who belonged to any of the big three “militia groups” — the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters. Indeed, it is these militia groups whose behavior, statements and planning leading up to and during 1/6 most closely align with the “violent insurrectionist” caricature we hear about in the media, and which the government claims to be going after in its aggressive prosecutions.
If it turns out that an extraordinary percentage of the members of these groups involved in planning and executing the Capitol Siege were federal informants or undercover operatives, the implications would be nothing short of staggering. This would be far worse than the already bad situation of the government knowing about the possibility of violence and doing nothing. Instead, this would imply that elements of the federal government were active instigators in the most egregious and spectacular aspects of 1/6, amounting to a monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors at the Capitol — and in a much larger sense used to frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.
This is what’s at stake in getting to the bottom of 1/6.
And so we proceed, unafraid, to investigate the question on which everything else pertaining to 1/6 hinges — did the government have informants or undercover agents in any or all of the “big three” militia groups leading up to or on 1/6? How many of the key unindicted co-conspirators in DOJ prosecutions are unindicted because they are undercover operatives or confidential informants?
In short, what did the federal government know in advance about 1/6, when did they know it — and how far did any undercover operations go?
Something’s Rotten in Michigan: The Forgotten Case of the Whitmer Kidnapping Plot
Of course, we could point to countless examples in America’s history of undercover agents and informants being actively involved in various “domestic terror plots.” But for the purposes of the argument we’re making here we need only go back a few months prior to 1/6 — to the so-called “Whitmer Kidnapping Plot.”
Indeed, what if we told you that scarcely three months before the 1/6 Capitol Siege, the FBI arrested 14 people for planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the State Government — and that the alleged conspiracy to overthrow the State government involved storming of the State Capitol?
And what if we told you that of the 14 individuals who allegedly plotted the “kidnapping” and overthrow of the state government, at least five were undercover agents and federal informants? And as if that’s not enough, many of the individuals allegedly involved in this plot appear to belong to the “Three Percenters,” one of the very same militia groups now blamed for storming January 6.
And, as the cherry on top, what if we told you that the director of the Detroit FBI Field Office, who oversaw the infiltration operation of the Michigan Plot, was subsequently granted a highly coincidental promotion to the D.C. office, where he is now the lead FBI agent for all 1/6 cases?
As crazy as it sounds, all of this is true. A full account of the Michigan Plot and its parallels to the Capitol Siege runs outside the scope and purposes of this article. Nonetheless, it will be useful to briefly flesh out some of the most salient details alluded to above.
The left-wing blog Jacobin, of all places, provides a good description of the allegation and charges:
Since last week, the headlines have been lit up by a shocking story out of Michigan: the FBI had foiled a plot hatched by anti-lockdown protesters and right-wing militia members to kidnap and try for “treason” Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who one of the ringleaders called a “tyrant bitch.”
According to a federal affidavit and court testimony, the plot involved surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home in Western Michigan and the surrounding area, procuring explosives and tactical gear to fight off police, taking part in armed training exercises, and even possibly blowing up a nearby bridge. The alleged plotters discussed using a fake pizza delivery to kidnap Whitmer, leaving Whitmer on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan, and even kidnapping Virginia governor Ralph Northam, one of the “tyrants” who, they believed, were abusing their power to order statewide lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic. [Jacobin]
Drawing upon entrapment cases used in the War on Terror, the Jacobin piece expresses concerns that the whole Michigan Plot itself may have been the result of entrapment of vulnerable, cognitively deficient and mentally unstable individuals by FBI informants. The following passage discusses the pathetic state of Adam Fox, the man designated by the government as the “mastermind” of the kidnapping plot:
According to the FBI’s affidavit, the bureau made heavy use of informants and undercover agents in the case. At least four took part — specifically, two informants and two undercover agents, on whose evidence gathering the criminal complaint was based on — though it’s implied that some unspecific number of additional personnel were involved.
And, as with earlier, Muslim-targeting cases, the FBI appears to have been integral to the plotters’ ability to carry out the scheme. The affidavit notes that an undercover agent told the ringleader it would cost $4,000 to procure explosives. Four of the accused planned to meet with another undercover agent posing as an explosives expert to pay for them and, they were told, to get some excess tactical gear the agent had the day they were arrested. In court, Richard Trask, the agent who authored the affidavit, said he didn’t know how much money the defendants had on them when they were put in handcuffs, aside from the $275 held by Adam Fox, pegged by Trask as the ringleader.
Even the profile of Fox is not unlike those of earlier targets like Shareef and Hester. Fox was reportedly struggling with money and had been on the brink of homelessness after his girlfriend kicked him out of her house, before being taken in by his friend and employer, who let him stay temporarily in the basement of his vacuum store. It was there in that cramped storage space, cluttered with boxes and spare vacuum parts, where Fox was living with his two dogs and meager possessions, that he at one point held a meeting to allegedly plan out the kidnapping. [Jacobin]
The possibility of an FBI entrapment-type operation is especially disturbing in light of the striking parallels between the Michigan Plot and the so-called Capitol Siege of 1/6.
The Michigan Plot did not start out as a kidnapping. According to the DOJ’s own indictment, the plot started as a plan to “storm the Capitol building” in Lansing, Michigan. And the “conspirators” would do so by amping up “at least 200 men” from an upcoming unrelated rally planned at the Michigan Capitol building (a rally that was focused on the Second Amendment, not insurrection) by agitating enough rallygoers to run inside and occupy the building.
Paragraph 10 of the FBI affidavit describes the plot to “storm the state capitol”:
10. Fox, in coordination with CROFT, met with members of the militia group at various times in June 2020. During one such meeting on June 18, 2020, which was audio recorded by CHS-2, FOX, militia group leadership, including Michigan resident Ty GARBIN, and CHS-2 met at a Second Amendment rally at the State capitol in Lansing, Michigan. In an effort to recruit more members for the operation, FOX told GARBIN and CHS-2 he planned to attack the Capitol and asked them to combine forces.
“CHS-2” refers to a “Confidential Human Source,” which means government informant. As mentioned above, the groups involved with this alleged plot were absolutely replete with undercover informants and operatives. Consider the following excerpt, from the same FBI affidavit:
4. In the course of its investigation, the FBI relied on information provided by Confidential Human Sources (CHS) and Undercover Employees (UCE) over several months. Not all CHSs and UCEs were present at all times, however, at least one CHS or UCE was usually present during the group meetings. Those CHSs and UCEs consensually recorded the meetings and conversations with the subjects. Some meetings or conversations were recorded by more than one CHS or UCE. Certain CHSs also had access to group or individual texts, online chats, and phone calls. Each CHS was vetted for reliability by the FBI agent handling the source. None of the CHSs were aware of the other CHSs involved with the groups in order to preserve the independence of their reporting. Although multiple CHSs were used over the course of the investigation, this complaint only relies on audio recordings and information provided by CHS-1, CHS-2, UCE-1 and UCE-2. [FBI Affidavit]
In the above excerpt, the FBI acknowledges the use of both confidential informants and undercover employees over the course of several months leading up to the so-called “thwarted plot.” Specifically, the complaint acknowledges two confidential informants and two undercover employees. Subsequent to the DOJ’s filing charges, however, another deep undercover informant unexpectedly outed himself (more on that later), bringing the tally of known government operatives up to five.
Here’s a clip of one of the informants talking about storming the Michigan State Capitol:
No wonder this Michigan plot didn’t take the federal authorities by surprise!
FBI infiltrators comprised, at the very least, 26 percent of the plotters. That is, at least five FBI operatives have been disclosed, against just 14 suspects indicted.
A look at the annotated indictment reveals that at every level of the plot, FBI operatives played the most important leadership roles:
-The plot’s “explosives expert,” who the plotters were accused of planning to buy bombs from, turned out to be an FBI agent.
-The head of transportation for the militia outfit turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.
-The head of security for the militia outfit turned out to be an undercover FBI informant.
-At least two undercover FBI informants were active participants in the initial June 6, 2020 meeting in which the plot to storm Capitol buildings was allegedly hatched — meaning at least three FBI informants infiltrated before the conspiracy even started.
In one of the plot’s climactic scenes, in the main van driving up to look at Governor Whitmer’s vacation home, three out of the five people in the van — 60 percent of the plot’s senior leaders — were federal agents and informants:
31. FOX, CROFT, CHS-2, a UCE, and an individual from Wisconsin traveled in the first vehicle. While in the vehicle, CROFT and FOX discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the vacation home. They stopped at the M-31 highway bridge on the way, where FOX and the UCE inspected the underside of the bridge for places to seat an explosive charge. FOX took a picture of the bridge’s support structure, which he later shared with CHS-2 in their encrypted chat. From there, they drove to a public boat launch across the lake from the vacation home to watch for the other cars in their group. [FBI]
You may be wondering how you get “three out of five” when the DOJ’s complaint only acknowledges two undercover FBI operatives: UCE (meaning “Undercover Employee,” or full-time agent) and CSH-2.
That is because the FBI went to great lengths to hide their affiliation with the fifth person in the van, describing him only as “an individual from Wisconsin” (again, more on this later).
Let’s take stock of what we have so far. We have a group of plotters that is heavily infiltrated by FBI informants and undercover agents, who were allegedly planning to kidnap the Michigan governor and storm the state capitol.
What we also know is that many of the main figures indicted in this plot seem to be associated with a militia group called the “Three Percenters” — one of the very same “big three” militia groups primarily charged with orchestrating 1/6.
Just to take a few examples:
The FBI alleged Adam Fox and Barry Croft were the supposed masterminds of the plot, with Adam Fox described as the Michigan state leader of the Three Percenters and Barry Croft as a national leader of the Three Percenters.
The FBI secured a search warrant to tap national Three Percenters leader Barry Croft’s Facebook account in April 2020, two months before the Michigan Plot was even allegedly hatched. For almost the entirety of 2020, every time Barry Croft’s Facebook account got banned, the FBI would tap each new alt account he created under a new warrant.
As was Michael Jung, who was not indicted in relation to the kidnapping plot. Jung allegedly was a member of both the Oath Keepers and second in command of the Wisconsin Branch of the Three Percenters. Jung’s 2-acre homestead in Wisconsin is where the DOJ alleges the Michigan “plotters” held firearms training and field exercises under the watchful eye of undercover informants.
And so we see the strange parallels between the so-called Michigan Plot and the so-called 1/6 Capitol Siege. In Michigan you had an alleged plot involving the storming of a state capitol, allegedly involving members of one of the very same key militia groups associated with the 1/6 plot. And we’re supposed to believe that despite massive and now publicly confirmed FBI and government infiltration of the Michigan Plot, there was no similar infiltration for 1/6?
Such a position appears still less plausible when we consider a final, suspicious connection between the Michigan Plot and 1/6.
The head of the FBI field office in Detroit, Steven D’Antuono, who oversaw the infiltration (and incitement?) operation into the Michigan plot was quickly and quietly promoted to lead the coveted Washington, DC field office:
Steven M. D’Antuono, who was named chief of the Detroit FBI office a year ago, has been promoted to head the Washington Field Office, a coveted post in the bureau.
FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Tuesday, just several days after D’Antuono’s agents and state police busted up a plot to abduct Gov. Gretechen Whitmer. His official new title is assistant director in charge. [Deadline Detroit]
If you’ve been following along so far, you can probably take a guess as to what Steven D’Antuono is up to in his new, coveted perch…
That’s right, he’s one of the key figures overseeing the investigation into the 1/6 Capitol Siege. What a coincidence!
Let’s recap what we’ve established. Just months prior to the U.S. Capitol Siege on 1/6, the FBI thwarted a similar plot involving a siege at the Michigan State Capitol, whose plotters belong to one of the three main militia groups associated with 1/6. The FBI was able to thwart this on the basis of an astonishing infiltration rate of said groups involving undercover operatives and informants who had been working in such capacity, just in one tiny Michigan network, for more than seven months. They were so well-infiltrated that they already had three informants embedded in this random Three Percenter network before any plot was even hatched. Furthermore, just days after the plot was foiled, FBI director Christopher Wray quietly promoted the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Michigan Plot operation to a coveted D.C. field post, where he now oversees the investigation into 1/6.
The Special Agent in Charge, by the way, is who establishes, extends, renews and supervises all FBI undercover operations.
The above parallels between the Michigan Plot and 1/6 do not necessarily mean that the the FBI had undercover informants and operatives who were involved in 1/6. But it sure as heck reinforces our intuition that it’s a distinct possibility. And it forces us to ask the question once again — if the government foiled the Michigan Plot, why didn’t they step in to stop the so-called siege on 1/6?
It is now imperative for anyone who cares about the truth to demand that Christopher Wray answer the question — to what extent did the FBI or any other government agency infiltrate the key militia groups associated with the U.S. Capitol Siege?
And more pressing still, a question to which we now turn our attention: how many of the unindicted co-conspirators in 1/6 prosecutions are unindicted on account of a prior arrangement with the federal government as an undercover operative or informant?
Shock and Awe: The DOJ’s Standard of Prosecution
Revolver News’s investigative team noticed from the very beginning a highly unusual and hard-to-explain feature of the conspiracy indictments filed against the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.
Revolver took special notice of not only the unusual volume of unindicted co-conspirators, but a still more unusual feature that the statements and actions of the unindicted co-conspirators in many cases seemed far more egregious and aggressive than those of the persons actually indicted.
It is essential here to make an important note of clarification. The purpose of this analysis here is not to aid in the prosecution of any of these unindicted co-conspirators. Rather, our aim is to point out that, given the standards of indictment applied to those actually indicted, it is very strange and indeed suspicious that certain unindicted co-conspirators have managed to avoid indictment. This does not necessarily mean that we approve of the standard of indictment itself. Quite the contrary, the aggressive standard of indictment and prosecution, through an unimaginably broad application of “conspiracy” charges, is immoral, unjust, and absurd.
We hope that one consequence of this seismic exposé will be a serious and prompt reform of the justice system to prevent such aggressive and politically motivated prosecutions on the part of the government.
Broadly speaking, there are three primary reasons to see an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal complaint: grants of immunity, pragmatic considerations, and evidentiary concerns.
Grants of immunity are traditionally only issued as the result of a plea deal reached between a defendant and prosecutors. Specifically, in exchange for agreeing to testify against “Big Fish” in the conspiracy, a “Little Fish” may remain an unindicted co-conspirator and never be charged.
But there are two reasons this possibility is far less likely in the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys indictments.
First, the timing doesn’t add up. The first indictment in the Oath Keepers case, already containing multiple key unindicted co-conspirators, was filed on January 27.
The First Superseding Indictment was filed on February 19. The Second Superseding Indictment was filed on March 12. The Third Superseding Indictment was filed on March 31. But the first plea deal in the Oath Keepers case was not struck until April 16. This means that none of the unindicted co-conspirators in the first three months of filings could have gotten a grant of immunity.
There are what appears to be upwards of 20 unindicted co-conspirators in the Oath Keepers indictments, all playing various roles in the conspiracy, who have not been charged for virtually the exact same activities — and in some cases much, much more severe activities — as those named alongside them in indictments.
The timeline and fact pattern suggests therefore that the only unindicted co-conspirator who could be unindicted as the result of a grant of immunity would have to be the single person from the Fourth Superseding Indictment onward, which was filed on May 26.
The other reasons to typically see unindicted co-conspirators — pragmatic concerns and evidentiary concerns — seem far less likely in this case as well.
The DOJ kicked off what has become one the largest and most aggressive prosecutorial dragnets in American history by announcing a campaign of “Shock and Awe.” No one gets off the hook. No one gets leniency. And everyone playing a bit part gets maximum time because this is about sending a message.
Listen to then-Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin describing this remarkably merciless “Shock and Awe” prosecutorial campaign:
I wanted to ensure, and our office wanted to ensure, that there was shock and awe. That we could charge as many people as possible before [January] 20th. And it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C., because they were like, ‘If we go there, we’re going to get charged.’
We saw “Shock and Awe” in action in the DOJ’s terrifyingly twisted “conspiracy” case against George Tanios, discussed at length in a previous Revolver report.
George Tanios and his companion Julian Khater have been charged with nine criminal counts for actions taken on 1/6 just outside the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. The most serious charge was assault on an officer with a dangerous weapon, arising from Khater’s alleged use of Tanios’s chemical spray to tag Officer Sicknick and two other officers in the face.
There, Tanios: (1) did not go in the Capitol; (2) did not use any bear spray himself; (3) had bear spray in his backpack and when his buddy Khater reached in to take it out, Tanios actively tried to stop him; and (4) in the end, it turns out, as prosecutors now acknowledge, his buddy never even used the bear spray.
And still, the DOJ has slapped this 39-year-old sandwich shop owner, George Tanios, with 60 years worth of stacking “conspiracy” charges because he said, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet.”
As we proceed to consider the following unindicted co-conspirators, keep in mind this George Tanios “Shock and Awe” standard of prosecution.
The Unindicted Co-Conspirators
The first suspiciously unindicted co-conspirators we will consider are the “Person Two” and “Person Three” who are unindicted co-conspirators in the indictment against Oath Keeper Thomas Caldwell (and the 15 named co-defendants).
For those unfamiliar, Thomas Caldwell is a 65-year-old from Virginia and an alleged member of the Oath Keepers, which the DOJ refers to as a “paramilitary” or “militia” group. The Caldwell case served as one of the first major indictments following the January 6 incident.
The DOJ press release provides more detail:
Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, both of Champaign County, Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Virginia, were indicted today in federal court in the District of Columbia on charges of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1512, 1361, and 1752. Watkins and Crowl were arrested on Jan. 18; Caldwell was arrested on Jan. 19. All three individuals originally were charged by criminal complaint. The maximum penalty for Obstructing an Official Proceeding is a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to the charging documents, Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell communicated with each another in advance of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion on the U.S. Capitol and coordinated their attack. Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell are all affiliated with the Oath Keepers, while Watkins and Crowl are also members of the Ohio State Regular Militia. Watkins claimed to be a commanding officer within the Ohio State Regular Militia in a social media post. [Department of Justice]
A careful read of the indictment against Caldwell reveals that a certain “Person Two” was a key co-conspirator alongside Caldwell in nearly every dimension relevant to the charges in question.
Person Two planned logistics with Caldwell days in advance of 1/6, stayed in the same hotel room for days together, and when Caldwell allegedly “stormed the barricades” into restricted areas outside the U.S. Capitol, Person Two is alleged to have “stormed the barricades” right beside him.
Even more suspicious than Person 2 described above is Person 3, who is yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Caldwell indictment.
Note that in the Michigan Plot described in the previous section, both the main van driver and explosives supplier were undercover FBI operatives.
Here, the Oath Keepers’ main bus driver and supposed explosives supplier remains an unindicted co-conspirator. That person is simply listed as “Person 3” in the complaints.
Consider the following from paragraph 64 of the Caldwell indictment:
On January 1, 2021, CALDWELL wrote to CROWL, “Check with Cap. I recommended the following hotel to her which STILL has rooms (unbelieveble).” CALDWELL then sent a link to the Comfort Inn Ballston, the same hotel that he recommended to others on January 1. CALDWELL continued, “[PERSON TWO] and I are setting up shop there. [PERSON THREE] has a room and is bringing someone. He will be the quick reaction force. Its going to be cold. We need a place to spend the night before minimum. [PERSON ONE] never contacted me so [PERSON TWO] and I are going our way. I will probably do pre-strike on the 5th though there are things going on that day. Maybe can do some night hunting. Oathkeeper friends from North Carolina are taking commercial buses up early in the morning on the 6th and back same night. [PERSON THREE] will have the goodies in case things go bad and we need to get heavy.” [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]
In arguing defendant Caldwell should be denied bail, the DOJ cites Caldwell’s “leadership role in planning the events of January 6” as including “finding lodging” for Person Three. They even explicitly refer to Person Three as “a third co-conspirator.” Why is this “third co-conspirator” still unindicted?
Perhaps most significantly, the government has proffered, and the indictment alleges, that Defendant Caldwell played a leadership role in planning the events of January 6, 2021: by (1) finding lodging just outside Washington, D.C. for himself, co-defendant Watkins, co-defendant Crowd, and a third co-conspirator, Person Three, whom Caldwell said would be serving as part of the “quick reaction force” to support the operations on January 6 (ECF No. 18 at 7-9); (2) distributing maps to the quick reaction force to help it find the quickest route to the Capitol, should its services be required (id. At 9); and (3) by discussing whether it would be possible to recruit people with boats to join the plan, so that they could participate in the quick reaction force and ferry “the heavy weapons” across the Potomac River, should that become necessary during the events of January 6 (id. At 9). [DOJ – Caldwell Bond Motion]
In the Michigan Plot, an undercover FBI operative was the recipient of hand-drawn maps from the “plotters” doing reconnaissance missions. Here in 1/6, it is once again the mysteriously unindicted co-conspirator “Person 3” who receives hand-drawn maps:
75. On January 4, 2021, CALDWELL emailed PERSON THREE several maps along with the message, “These maps walk you from the hotel into D.C. and east toward the target area on multiple roads running west to east including M street and P street, two of my favorites…” [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]
Further, in the Michigan Plot, defense counsel alleges it was an undercover FBI operative who actually organized and paid for the hotel rooms during the key planning meeting on June 6, 2020.
Croft's lawyer Joshua Blanchard believes the government set up the meeting of militia members last summer in Ohio that led to the Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot, and that the feds paid for attendees' hotel rooms
"The government is the driving force," Blanchard says.
— Robert Snell (@robertsnellnews) January 13, 2021
Here, our mysteriously unindicted “Person Three” reserved and paid for various Oath Keeper hotel rooms:
68. KELLY MEGGS paid for two rooms, each for two people, at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. The rooms were reserved under the name of Person Three.
69. Person Three paid for one room at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]
From the indictment, Person 3 was tasked with stashing the heavy weapons at the “QRF hotel”, and standing by as QRF operator in case he was summoned to take the weapons directly to protesters at the scene. [Indictment, paragraphs 83, 84 and 90 and Bond Hearing, pp. 13-14]
This same pattern applies to the booking of most Oath Keeper hotel rooms:
82. On January 4, 2021, PERSON TEN checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Vienna, Virginia. The room was reserved and paid for using a credit card in PERSON ONE’s name.
95. MINUTA, using his personal email address and his personal home address, reserved three rooms at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., under the names of MINUTA, JAMES, and PERSON TWENTY. A debit card associated with PERSON FIFTEEN was used to pay for the room reserved under MINUTA’s name. [DOJ Indictment]
Indeed, the curious lack of indictments filed against the entire gamut of Persons referenced as playing leadership roles within the Oath Keepers on 1/6 raises red flags. This includes: Person 2, Person 3, Person 10, Person 14, Person 15, Person 16, Person 19 and Person 20, along with many co-conspirators listed only as “an individual.”
For example, while transgender bar owner and Ohio Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins is inside the mezzanine of the U.S. Capitol, she is being directed, encouraged and egged on by “an individual” whose identity the DOJ clearly knows, since the DOJ stipulates the “individual” had “participated in at least one prior Oath Keeper operation:”
141. An individual who had participated in at least one prior Oath Keeper operations with WATKINS responded, “Get it Jess. Do your fucking thing. This is what we fucking [unintelligible] up for. Everything we fucking trained for.” [DOJ Indictment]
Among such individuals, consider the alleged administrator of the “Stop the Steal J6” Zello channel.
The Zello channel in question was populated by patriot/militia personalities who were variously monitoring and participating in 1/6 activities in real-time. For those unfamiliar, Zello is an app that allows for walkie-talkie functionality on a cell phone. Because phones signals were “jammed” by law enforcement in the Capitol area, Zello’s walkie-talkie function was useful (and pre-planned) to stay in communication.
The DOJ alleges:
114. At 2:03pm, the administrator of the “Stop the Steal J6” Zello channel directed the group, “You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud.” [DOJ Indictment]
The DOJ point-blank says this Zello channel administrator “directed the group” as it was carrying out the alleged Capitol attack. If the group is carrying out a conspiracy (and that’s what the defendants are charged with), this Zello channel administrator is directing the conspiracy in real-time. Further, applying the George Tanios “shock and awe” standard, it would certainly appear that direct instructions and active encouragement to co-conspirators in real-time to perform “citizens arrests” on the assembly (presumably Congress) is far worse than George Tanios merely saying “Hold on, hold on, not yet,” which was the sole hook needed for the DOJ to jail him without bail facing 60 years of charges.
An important reminder for the reader: the point of this exercise is not to encourage the prosecution of this or any other unindicted co-conspirator. The purpose is to suggest the oddity that such co-conspirators have not been indicted, given the absurdly severe “Shock and Awe” standard applied to those who have been. To the extent that this double-standard suggests that the unindicted co-conspirator remains such because he or she has a relationship with the federal government, this is of profound public interest.
We do not mean however to legitimize or condone the “Shock and Awe” standard applied to those indicted, or the wide scope and abusive application of “conspiracy” statutes to target political dissidents.
Under the same (absurd and unjust) standard of prosecution applied to this and every other 1/6 case, this statement, made in real-time over private walkie-talkie to the Oath Keepers inside the Capitol is immediately sufficient to charge this “individual” with conspiracy as well. Is this person being protected? If so, why?
Turning to the Proud Boys side, it appears that the individual who set up the Proud Boys’ communications infrastructure is still being protected by the DOJ. The DOJ refers to this person only as “UCC-1” (UCC meaning an explicitly spelled out “unindicted co-conspirator”):
47. At 9:09 p.m. UCC-1 broadcast a message to the New MOSD and Boots on the Ground channels that read: Stand by for the shared baofeng channel and shared zello channel, no Color, be decentralized and use good judgment until further orders” UCC-1 also wrote, “Rufio is is in charge, cops are the primary threat, don’t get caught by them or BLM, don’t get drunk until off the street.” UCC-1 then provided a specific radio frequency of 477.985. [DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]
Note that the “baofeng channel” here refers to encrypted two-way Chinese Baefeng radios.
Recall in the very beginning of this report, the Senate hearing exchange (in which Sen. Amy Klobachar asks FBI Director Wray if he wishes the FBI infiltrated the Proud Boys) begins with her exasperation over the Proud Boys having “Chinese radio”:
“And they show up, we now know in this complaint, with encrypted two-way Chinese radios…”
What a dark irony if it turns out that the very radios in question here were supplied to the Proud Boys group by an informant or undercover agent!
UCC-1, as well as two additional unindicted co-conspirators referred to only as “Person-One” and “Person-Two” in the Proud Boys indictment, were all in Proud Boys “upper tier leadership,” and appear to have been the most prolific planners and incendiary advocates of “insurrection” in the run-up to and on the day of 1/6.
For example, the DOJ cites statements made almost exclusively by unindicted co-conspirators as statements that “revealed a plan to storm the Capitol and to let the crowd loose.” Below is a direct quote from that DOJ motion. Note that only a single statement in this entire exchange, cited as the DOJ’s proof of an ongoing conspiracy, is made by a conspirator the DOJ actually indicted (Charles Donahoe). Even then, the indicted conspirator’s statements are orders of magnitude less specific, conspiratorial and incendiary than those made by unindicted co-conspirators UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2:
Statements made contemporaneous to the event, however, revealed a plan to storm the Capitol and to let the crowd loose, e.g.:
UCC-1: I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash today
Person-2: Would be epic
UCC-1: The state is the enemy of the people
Person-2: We are the people
UCC-1: Fuck yea
Person-1: God let it happen . . . I will settle with seeing them smash some pigs to dust
Person-2: Fuck these commie traitors
Person-1: It’s going to happen. These normiecons have no adrenaline control . . . They are like a pack of wild dogs
DONOHOE: I’m leaving with a crew of about 15 at 0830 to hoof it to the monument no colors
Person-2: Fuck it let them loose
Person-1: I agree . . .
For this exchange, made on 1/6, in the exclusive, encrypted senior leaders-only chat of the Proud Boys, the DOJ has sufficient grounds to indict UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 as co-conspirators.
But the roles of UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 look even worse when you understand the structure and hierarchy of the Proud Boys chain of command on 1/6.
First, there were only a very small handful of people in the “upper tier leadership” private Telegram chat of the Proud Boys. When the channel was set up on December, 29, 2020, it was just six people, including Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio, longtime Proud Boys “thought leader” Joseph Biggs, Proud Boys Auburn chapter head Ethan Nordean, and Proud Boys Philadelphia chapter head Zachary Rehl. That’s four named individuals and two-unnamed.
On December 29, 2020, the Proud Boys Chairman announced the leadership and structure of the Ministry of Self-Defense. The leadership and structure included an “upper tier leadership” of six people, which included Proud Boys Chairman, Nordean, Biggs, and Rehl. Later that evening, Donohoe explained the structure with reference to the upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. Among other things, Donohoe explained that the MOSD was a “special chapter” within the organization. The “special chapter” was not to have any interaction with other Proud Boys attending the event. Other Proud Boys attending the event were to coordinate with their own chapters and “do whatever you guys want.” [May 13 DOJ filing, pp. 3-4]
After 1/6, it came to light that Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio had been a “prolific” FBI informant for years, and Proud Boys “thought leader” Joseph Biggs had been an FBI informant for several months.
The day before 1/6, the Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio, a known FBI informant, was arrested on weapons charges and ordered by a Judge to stay away from D.C.
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the right-wing group the Proud Boys, has been ordered to stay away from Washington, D.C., after he was arrested on vandalism and weapons charges. The ruling comes one day before pro-Trump demonstrations are planned in Washington as Congress convenes to count the Electoral College votes ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Tarrio was released from custody on Tuesday, but Judge Renee Raymond ordered him to stay away from Washington. Raymond said the government’s request for Tarrio to stay away was reasonable given his prior statements about burning anything associated with Black Lives Matter, Raymond also ordered that Tarrio not possess a firearm or ammunition while in Washington.
Tarrio was arrested Monday after he arrived in Washington on a charge stemming from the destruction of a Black Lives Matter banner at a historically Black church. He was found to be in possession of several high-capacity firearms, stemming in felony charges. [CBS]
A full discussion of Tarrio is outside the scope of this piece. For now, we will simply note how remarkably convenient it is that the head of the Proud Boys, a known FBI informant, just happened to get arrested and banned from D.C. the day before the January 6 protest, in which Proud Boys were involved.
What better excuse for the leader not to be present on that fateful day?
Upon Tarrio’s arrest on January 4, the “upper tier leadership” of the MOSD Telegram channel was “nuked” and a channel, “New MOSD” took its place. We now know this top leadership Telegram group included unindicted co-conspirators UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 (as well as Proud Boys North Carolina chapter leader Charles Donahoe).
On January 4, 2021, shortly after Proud Boys Chairman’s arrest pursuant to a warrant issued by D.C. Superior Court, DONOHOE expressed concern that encrypted communications that involved Proud Boys Chairman would be compromised when law enforcement examined Proud Boys Chairman’s phone. DONOHOE then created a new channel on the encrypted messaging application, entitled “New MOSD,” and took steps to destroy or “nuke” the earlier channel. After its creation, the “New MOSD” channel included NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and a handful of additional members. [DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]
The DOJ cites Person-1 as saying the following:
Person-1: God let it happen . . . I will settle with seeing them smash some pigs to dust
Person-1: It’s going to happen. These normiecons have no adrenaline control . . . They are like a pack of wild dogs
Person-2: Fuck it let them loose
Person-1: I agree . . .
Furthermore, DOJ cites Person-1 as belonging to Proud Boys’ “upper tier leadership”:
A video call was held with prospective members of the MOSD on December 30, 2020. The self-proclaimed leadership of the MOSD introduced the chapter and explained the expectations, including the strict chain of command. As one member (“Person-1”) of the upper tier leadership explained…
This unindicted co-conspirator, Person-1, then explained that all Proud Boys leaders must obey the orders of any person in the senior leadership chat. That means UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 had directorial authority over indicted defendants in the group:
“[Directions] could come from any single person that you see on your screen right now… but the one thing that everyone has to understand, is, yes, you might be getting told things from different people, but it’s all information from the same plan. [Joe] Biggs] is not going to tell you something different than I’m gonna tell you. [Proud Boys Chairman] is not going to tell you something different than Zach [Rehl] is going to tell you. It’s all one operational plan, so don’t get hung up on the delivery. The information is all the same. [Bond Motion]
So if UCC-1, Person-1 and/or Person-2 were undercover informants or agents, note that instruction given by them to other Proud Boys in the chat was to be taken as a direction coming straight “from the top.”
40. On January 4, 2021, at 7:15 p.m., DONOHOE posted a message on various encrypted messaging channels, including New MOSD, which read, “Hey have been instructed and listen to me real good! There is no planning of any sorts. I need to be put into whatever new thing is created… DONOHOE then wrote, “Stop everything immediately” and then “This comes from the top.”
And in fact, these unindicted co-conspirators did appear to override indicted defendants:
41. On January 4, 2021, at 8:20 p.m., an unindicted co-conspirator (“UCC-1”) posted to New MOSD channel: “We had originally planned on divying them up and getting baofeng channels picked out.” [DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]
The next day, UCC-1 did in fact set up and distribute the Baofeng Chinese radio frequency [paragraph 47].
While UCC-1 set up the Chinese radios and walkie-talkie teams, and Person-1 gave operational instructions, Person-2 was repeatedly posting into the senior leadership chat the most inflammatory and inciting comments of anyone in the organization:
On January 4, prior to his arrival in Washington, D.C., Proud Boys Chairman communicated his expectation that he would be arrested upon entering Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, UCC-1 wrote, “We should tell our guys and double down.” Another member of MOSD leadership (“Person-2”) subsequently wrote, “I say fuck it. Let’s set it off[.]” Person-2 then posted “J20” and then “Drag them out by the fucking hair” and then “If they steal it[.]”
Notably, Person-1 and Person-2 were the same participants in the Telegram message chats on January 6 who expressed their hope that the “normies” would “burn that city to ash” and suggested that those on the ground should “turn them loose.” In addition, Person-2 was the individual who posted an alert in the Telegram messages: “Storming the Capitol now” and directed participants to “Get there.” [DOJ Motion]
By the severe “Shock and Awe” prosecutorial standard applied to George Tanios, it is difficult to understand how the unindicted co-conspirators described above have not yet been indicted.
As yet another reminder, we are not advocating for the prosecution or indictment of anyone. Rather, we are pointing out the seeming double standard applied to certain indicted persons (George Tanios, for example) and a number of highly suspicious unindicted co-conspirators, with a view toward the strong possibility that the latter categories contain federal informants and undercover operatives.
By way of conclusion, let us return to a curious feature of the Michigan Plot described earlier in this report.
During one of the plot’s climactic scenes, in the main van driving up to look at Whitmer’s vacation house, three out of the five people in the van — 60 percent of the plot’s senior leaders — were undercover agents and operatives:
31. FOX, CROFT, a CHS-2, a UCE, and an individual from Wisconsin traveled in the first vehicle. While in the vehicle, CROFT and FOX discussed detonating explosive devices [DOJ Indictment]
The FBI and DOJ went to great lengths to conceal the fact that the fifth man in the van, “an individual from Wisconsin,” was actually a deep undercover federal informant.
This “individual” allegedly organized the initial June 6, 2020 meeting in Dublin, Ohio where the entire Michigan Plot was allegedly hatched. He even allegedly paid for the attendees’ hotel rooms to travel there.
No wonder that the FBI-DOJ tried to conceal the central role of their mole in setting in motion a conspiracy blamed entirely on patriot/militia groups!
The “individual from Wisconsin,” also referenced variously throughout the Michigan Plot courts documents as “an individual”, is the longtime government mole Steve Robeson. We know this, because in November 2020, one month after the October 2020 indictment was filed, Steve Robeson blew his cover by spilling on a livestream: “I am the individual from Wisconsin.”
The criminal complaint describes a late-night surveillance run in mid-September from the group’s remote training site in Luther to Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan. Three vehicles made the trip, including a truck containing five people: accused ringleader Adam Fox, Croft, an informant, an undercover FBI agent and “an individual from Wisconsin.”
“That’s me,” Robeson tells members during the online meeting. “I’m the individual from Wisconsin.” [Detroit News]
Steve Robeson, 58, had been penetrating right-wing patriot/militia groups as a secret informant for the Federal government for over 35 years.
Robeson has a history of testifying for the government. In 1985, he testified against a suspect in a murder and arson case involving members of the Ghost Riders motorcycle gang, according to a Wisconsin State Journal article. The article portrays Robeson as a jailhouse snitch who shared a county jail cell with one defendant in the case. [Detroit News]
In a possible preview of what might come for some of the unindicted co-conspirators in 1/6, the FBI-DOJ burned Robeson, their own secret informant, by hitting the man they paid to infiltrate patriot groups with a 10-year charge for owning a gun (as a convicted child molester, he was not allowed to own a gun, which the FBI obviously knew in advance). Perhaps this is the price that Robeson paid for blowing his cover?
There is a fascinating moment in the October 14 preliminary hearing where Detroit FBI Field Office Special Agent Richard Trask brings personal notes to the stand, which he only consults when talking about key events concerning the “individual from Wisconsin”. When questioned on cross-examination about the contents of the notes and why they weren’t disclosed to defense counsel, Special Agent Trask says his admits his notes were prepped in a joint meeting the night before between the FBI and DOJ. When defense counsel Mr. Graham motions the judge for a copy of the notes, DOJ prosecutor Mr. Kessler rushes in to specify that defense counsel will only get a redacted version of the notes because they relate to unindicted co-conspirators and concealed-identity informants. [Preliminary Hearing Transcript – also see image sequence 1, 2, 3, 4]
Steve Robeson (“an individual”) being outed as a deep undercover FBI mole just months ago in the Michigan Plot, among other incidents, calls into question every major unindicted co-conspirator in the 1/6 case docket referred to only as “an individual.” Indeed, in the case of Robeson, the FBI and DOJ conspired to use this exact language trick to hide the existence of secret FBI informants from the judge, defense counsel and the public.
In the end, we are left with burning questions that ought to entirely reshape the way the nation thinks and talks about the events of 1/6.
From now on, every politician, commentator, and concerned citizen who cares about 1/6 has a duty to put the pressure on FBI director Christopher Wray to come clean.
In the very beginning of this piece we drew attention to Senator Klobuchar asking Christopher Wray about infiltration, but formulating the question in a way that assumed there was none. Don’t you ever kick yourself, she asked the FBI director, for not having infiltrated these groups that planned to do violence on 1/6?
Now, armed with the formidable research in this article, any politician in Senator Klobuchar’s shoes ought to kick themselves if they don’t ask the following:
Director Wray: How many of the unindicted co-conspirators in January 6 cases are now, or have been, undercover agents or confidential informants?
Indeed, pulling on the thread developed in this ground-breaking report could unravel the full story of what the FBI really knew about 1/6 — a potentially extraordinary scandal.
Stay tuned. We’re not done yet.
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