Proud Boys Trial Shows FBI Confidential Human Sources are Allowed to Spy and Break Laws- So Are We Really Free?

Has the FBI been weaponized against the average citizen and allowed to spy on us and commit crimes against us? It sure feels that way to many activists who have been the target of political smears and strange campaigns to marginalize them, their activism, their journalism or their online activity and content.

That is what it looks like is happening at a big huge trial for ‘sedition” against a small group of men who dared go to the US Capitol that fateful day in January 2021.

Shipwrecked writes in detail about what is unfolding:

On March 22, 2023, at the end of the trial day in United States v. Nordean — the “Proud Boys” trial currently in its 13th week in federal court in the District of Columbia — defense counsel were advised by the Government that a defense witness to be called the following day had been a registered FBI “Confidential Human Source” (CHS) for a time that started shortly after the defendants were indicted, and continued for a period of several weeks after the trial began. The witness has now been identified publicly in the press as “Jen Loh”.

In response to this revelation, counsel for defendant Zachary Rehl filed an emergency motion for discovery of all FBI documents and materials related to Loh’s status and time as an FBI CHS — a fact all the defendants were unaware of until that point in time.

The Government’s response was, ultimately, that no such records exist. But information developed in the record of the case over the next 48 hours — as reported in the press — was that Loh had for some time been in active contact with Proud Boy defendants, their friends and families, and even defense attorneys prior to and during the trial. Loh confirmed much of this information in an interview with The NY Times.

She participated in prayer vigils and fundraising activities, as well as discussing the facts of various cases, the performance of attorneys, and discussing the case with various defense counsel. She gave a recorded interview to defense attorney(s) and/or defense investigator(s), and was given a subpoena to testify as a defense witness in the trial.

On March 23, 2023, the Government filed a response to the motion for disclosure of all records and materials regarding CHS’s connected to the Proud Boys organization. The Government limited its response to matters regarding Loh not all CHS’s as requested by the motion — and stated that it had no records or materials with respect to Loh related to the ongoing trial.

The case shows the confidential human source or informant is a defendant who engages in the prohibited activity of associating with persons engaged in criminal activity for the purpose of furnishing information to or acting as an agent for a law enforcement or intelligence agency.

“The FBI Use of Confidential Human Sources As Revealed in the Proud Boys Trial Is Cleary Over the Line,” Shipwrecked, who is Bill Shipley, and describes himself as a 22+ years as a federal prosecutor; eight years private practice.

The Intercept wrote about exactly that in 2017, about the FBI’s use of Confidential Human Resources under Christopher Wray, exposing that America’s Civil Liberties were under attack.

“Recruiting and managing informants, known in the FBI’s parlance as “confidential human sources,” is one of the most crucial ways in which the bureau gathers intelligence. Confidential FBI documents obtained exclusively by The Intercept reveal for the first time how the bureau approaches those tasks — including its use of a number of tactics that raise concerns about the civil liberties of those being targeted for recruitment.

“A lot of this suggests a return to the methods that were used under J. Edgar Hoover that were later denounced and abandoned in favor of ensuring FBI domestic operations were narrowly confined to enforcing criminal statute,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program,” the Intercept wrote.

But somehow we got back to those horrible conditions. The abused people of the United States may recognize some of these tactics, from the Intercept article.


Some of the most significant revelations of the CHS guide expand on what we know about the FBI’s so-called Type 5 assessments — through which federal agents have authority to investigate people in the United States who are not suspected of having committed crimes, but who, in a federal agent’s opinion, could be recruited as informants. The classified guidelines reveal:

  • Before approaching a potential informant, agents are encouraged to build a file on that person, using information obtained during an FBI assessment, including derogatory information and information gleaned from other informants. The FBI claims that it seeks derogatory information in order not to be blindsided by its informants’ vulnerabilities, but such material may also be useful in coercing cooperation from otherwise unwilling recruits.
  • FBI agents may use undercover identities to recruit informants, including online. These approaches are not limited by a rule stipulating that agents and informants are allowed no more than five meetings with a target before their activity is subject to supervisory approval as an undercover operation.
  • With permission from supervisors, FBI agents may recruit minors as informants. They may also, with permission from the U.S. Department of Justice, recruit clergy, lawyers, and journalists.
  • Informants may operate in other countries for the FBI, and the FBI guidelines do not require notification to be given to the host countries.

We know that there were FBI human resources at the Capitol and spying on numerous activists and journalists on that day, as exposed by former Trump administration official Kash Patel, who talks about busing Wray in a lie about what he was doing:

The FBI refuses, continuously to address the concerns the American people have about the tactics being used against us in what feels like a hunt for supporters of President Donald J. Trump:

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan, has suspicion of the program, claiming the FBI is using unvetted sources for Confidential Human Resources, as shown in this letter from his office:

Letter To Wray compelling his answer

And now the topic has come up again in a recent trial for the Proud Boys that shows everyone should understand this topic:

CNN reported on the use of Confidential Human Resources (CHS) in the most recent J6 court case for 5 members of the Proud Boys, reminding us that CHS are allowed to break laws:

“The role of confidential human sources, or CHS, on January 6 has become a central focus in right-wing circles, where conspiracy theorists assert that January 6 was a trap to make supporters of the former president look bad.

The fight over Loh’s testimony also underscores a dispute between defense counsel and the government since before the trial began over who in the Proud Boys was feeding the FBI information and how much investigators knew about the far-right group’s plan for January 6 before the riot ever started.

The five defendants – Enrique Tarrio, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola and Joseph Biggs – have all pleaded not guilty.

Informants, who in some circumstances are paid by the FBI to report back information, can be authorized by their handlers to take actions that would otherwise be illegal – like entering Capitol grounds.

It’s clear from the exhibits and testimony that prosecutors have shown during the trial that law enforcement had several people within the organization reporting back information. One exhibit in the case suggested that there were more than a dozen FBI informants in the Proud Boys around the time of January 6.

Tarrio, the Proud Boys chairman, claimed to have previously worked as an informant.

Defense lawyers have repeatedly argued that there are numerous informants whose identities prosecutors are hiding. Those people, defense lawyers allege, told their FBI handlers that there was no plan to storm the Capitol on January 6.

“Not a single CHS told the government that there was a plan for January 6,” Sabino Jauregui, Tarrio’s lawyer, said in court Friday, “that Proud Boys planned to storm the Capitol.”

Yet, here they are in a fight for their lives after being persecuted for over two years about J6 and for years before that. Where do Americans go to get our civil liberties back?

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