Jan. 6 Attorney Straight Up Asked DOJ Lawyers If More Witnesses Were FBI Informants. They Said ‘Nothing’
Trevor Schakohl on March 24, 2023
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed Wednesday that a witness who Jan. 6 defendant Enrique Tarrio’s lawyer Sabino Jauregui planned to call for testimony had been an FBI informant, based on a court filing American Greatness’ Julie Kelly obtained.
- Jauregui said DOJ attorneys would not tell him whether two other planned witnesses were FBI informants, a hearing transcript shows.
- “My biggest concern is the fact that we still have confidential human sources who are unknown to us,” defendant Zachary Rehl’s lawyer Carmen Hernandez said Thursday.
A Jan. 6 defendant’s lawyer said Justice Department (DOJ) attorneys would not tell him Wednesday whether planned witnesses in the case were FBI informants, shortly after the government revealed a different planned witness to have been an informant herself, according to a hearing transcript obtained by American Greatness’ Julie Kelly.
Former Proud Boys National Chairman Enrique Tarrio and members Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola are standing federal trial in Washington, D.C., for allegedly conspiring to oppose the transfer of presidential power in January 2021, and the government said Wednesday that a defense witness Tarrio’s lawyers meant to call had served as an FBI confidential human source from April 2021 to January 2023, court filings show. Tarrio’s attorney, Sabino Jauregui, said in a Thursday hearing that he subsequently asked the DOJ whether his next two witnesses were FBI sources as well, the transcript provided by Kelly indicates.
“You know what they told me?” Jauregui said. “Nothing. They don’t know.”
“All of our responses are made through the court,” the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case told Daily Caller News Foundation.
Incoming: I have transcript of yesterday’s hearing in Judge Kelly’s courtroom about last-minute revelation a trusted confidante to some of the defendants was an FBI informant for nearly 2 years.
Defense attorney notes other issues with unknown FBI informants in the case pic.twitter.com/a6ifN960wg
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) March 24, 2023
The New York Times Friday identified the female source as Jen Loh, a former official of “Latinos for Trump.”
Loh had 20 to 30 communications with Biggs when she was an FBI confidential source, Biggs’ attorney, Norman Pattis, said in the Thursday hearing. Pattis told presiding Judge Timothy Kelly that the defense was “very close to a stipulation on as many as eight or nine other” FBI sources and would argue “that there was a complex network of confidential human sources at the government’s disposal.”
“My biggest concern is the fact that we still have confidential human sources who are unknown to us, ” Rehl’s lawyer, Carmen Hernandez, said, asking the court to prevent a similar issue from arising again. Tarrio separately gave the FBI information more than ten years ago, according to the NYT.
Judge Kelly quashed a defense subpoena Tuesday for Proud Boys member Kenneth Lizardo, saying Lizardo had “a reporting relationship with the FBI” and had declared his intention to plead the Fifth if called to testify, the outlet reported. Lizardo had gone with Tarrio to a Jan. 5, 2021 meeting in Washington, D.C., with Oath Keepers militia group founder Stewart Rhodes, who was ultimately convicted of Jan. 6-related seditious conspiracy in November 2022.
Court filings reported in November suggested the FBI had up to eight informants within the Proud Boys in the months surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to the NYT. Former Tennessee Proud Boys chapter leader Matthew Walter told the outlet in February that he and up to 20 other group members had FBI relationships around that time.
Loh had given the FBI information as far back as fall 2019, FBI San Antonio Special Agent Kristina Spindel swore in a Thursday statement. Loh said during a Friday interview that she originally provided what she considered “useful information” about leftist protestors to the FBI, later informing the bureau about “any type of domestic terrorism — on the right or the left,” according to the NYT.
The government claims she has since helped Jan. 6 defendants through “fund-raising efforts and protesting against their conditions of confinement,” the outlet reported.
Loh communicated with one or more defense lawyers, participated in prayer meetings with one or more defendant’s family and talked with one of the defendant’s family members about replacing one of the defense counsel, Hernandez said in a Wednesday motion demanding the release of any FBI or DOJ reports, recordings and memoranda about “reporting on and recordings of the defense team.”
The DOJ’s Thursday response to Hernandez’s motion denied that any such reports existed, but admitted that Loh told the FBI around Jan. 9 that she had been subpoenaed to testify in the case and participated in a deposition, with Spindel saying her source relationship with the FBI ended around Jan. 18. At the Thursday hearing, Nordean’s attorney, Nicholas Smith, claimed that, in around April 2022, Loh had started asking him detailed questions about matters like evidence in the case.
“It looks like this informant was active in discussing information with their [FBI] handler at approximately the same time,” Smith said, referencing reporting that the government had given him. Spindel had sworn the FBI did not task Loh with collecting information about the defendants in the case, saying the bureau was never given any information about contact she had with them or their lawyers on the matter.
“It’s hard to see people calling me a rat and a fed and things like that,” Loh said Friday, claiming she never spied on the defendants or their lawyers, the NYT reported. “I think it’s sad that we’ve gotten so polarized in this country.”
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