The FBI Use of Confidential Human Sources As Revealed in the Proud Boys Trial Is Cleary Over the Line
The Fact that it Continued After Trial Began Shows the Extent to Which Both DOJ and the FBI Have Adopted the Ethos of "The Ends Justifies the Means."
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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”, athough the NYT has published a fuller name for her. You can search out that article on your own if you want that additional information. “Loh” is easier to type.
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.
I’m not going to go into great detail in terms of what was requested because 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.