The FBI had an informant in the crowd during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times reported Saturday, citing confidential records it obtained.
The informant’s name was not revealed in the records, though he was affiliated with a Midwest chapter of the far-right group the Proud Boys, according to the newspaper.
Based on an account of the informant’s activities detailed in the records, the informant described meeting up with men from other Proud Boys chapters at 10 a.m. at the Washington Monument and eventually entering the Capitol.
The informant entered after debating whether to do so, the Times reported. He left through a window after police told him that someone had been shot – likely Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, the newspaper noted.
The informant has since denied that the Proud Boys intended to use violence on Jan. 6 but rather were consumed by a herd mentality. He has also denied that the group planned to attack the Capitol in interviews, the Times reported.
In a statement to The Hill, an FBI spokesperson said the agency’s “mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States, and intelligence gathering is essential to those efforts.”
“While the FBI’s standard practice is not to discuss its sources and methods, it is important to understand that sources provide valuable information regarding criminal activity and national security matters,” the statement said.
More than 600 people have been arrested in connection with the deadly attack, according to the Justice Department, and more than 50 have pleaded guilty.
The Times noted that 15 members of the Proud Boys have been charged with conspiracy in four separate cases.
Reuters reported in early August that the FBI has found little evidence to suggest that the attack was largely coordinated.
While groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were intent on entering the Capitol, officials told Reuters that there appeared to be no coordinated plans regarding what they would do once they broke into the building.