Since January 6th, many citizens have wondered if any of the numerous unarrested individuals caught on camera were federal agents/informants. I've been particularly curious about the Metropolitan Police "Undercover Employees" (MPD UCE) in the crowd. The first admission I'd seen by the federal government that any sort of undercover agents were present was in a criminal complaint filed against Fi Duong in June of 2021. Now, those specific undercover employees are back in the spotlight with a viral Twitter thread by another J6 defendant, William Pope. Pope included descriptions of several scenes from a video in which MPD UCEs join in crowd chants and encourage people to move towards the Capitol. In reviewing material for my own J6 case, I have been able to watch the video in question, and can confirm that Pope's claims regarding the MPD UCEs' actions/statements are largely accurate.
United States v. DUONG
On the morning of January 6th, a Virginia man named Fi Duong met an Metropolitan Police Undercover Employee near the Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. Duong must have exchanged contact information with the MPD UCE, as he used the opportunity to introduce Duong to an undercover FBI agent. The FBI agent proceeded to inflitrate a sort of "gun club" which Duong was a member of. The agent was not able to entice Duong himself into any criminal activity (Duong was only charged with J6 related offenses), but the agent was able get another member of the group, Adam MacLaury, charged with firearm related offenses. However, the focus of this article is the actions of the MPD UCE referenced in these two paragraphs:
MPD "Electronic Surveillance Unit"
As reported by Patricia Tolson in The Epoch Times, the Metropolitan Police Department had undercover/plainclothes employees in the crowd on January 6th to “document the actions of the demonstrators and MPD’s response to any civil disobedience or criminal activity.” It is my understanding that the video referenced in the Pope filing is one of the videos recorded by the Electronic Surveillance Unit, and kept as "sensitive" material in the January 6th evidence archive provided to defendants as Brady material. The video cannot currently be made public, as defendants are required to sign a protective order preventing certain "sensitive" or "highly sensitive" material from being disclosed.
The Pope Filing
In November 2022, William Pope included the following claims as part of a motion to compel the government to give him more access to discovery:
Below is an abbreviated description of the conversations and actions depicted in this undercover officer’s footage:As three undercover MPD officers approach the NW corner of the Capitol groundsaround approximately 1:40 p.m., Officer 1 (filming) joins the crowd in chanting “drain the swamp.” Near the NW walkway the three undercover officers see men running towards the Capitol. Officer 2, who is wearing black overalls, a black hoodie, a black bandana, and a red Trump beanie, remarks, “those guys are getting shot.” Shortly after this, Officer 2 says, “I’m going to follow this from a distance.” As they walk forward, Officer 2 says, “this is amazing!” Officer 1 responds, “Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this.” Officer 2 then changes their direction and the three undercover officers head towards the Northwest Scaffolding. Near the scaffolding a man asks them, “is Trump still walking here?” Officer 2 remarks, “honestly I don’t think he can walk that far, let’s be honest, he’s long winded though that’s for sure.”When protestors reach the top of the stairs and scaffolding, the three undercover officers move forward. Officer 3, a clean shaven white male who is wearing a blue jacket and grey beanie, yells “holy shit!” Officer 2 then reiterates his belief that someone will get shot. With awink and a nudge, Officer 3 asks Officer 2 if he wants to go up there too. Officer 2 smiles andsays, “I’ll be honest with you, kinda.” Officer 1 says “yeah” and taps them to move forward as Officer 2 laughs about it. When Officer 1 asks the other officers which way they want to go,Officer 2 suggests going up the stairs with protestors. Near the base of the stairs Officer 1 joins the crowd in chanting “Whose house? Our house!”Officer 1 begins yelling at people in front of him to “Go, go, go!” As they climb bicycle racks, Officer 1 yells for the crowd to “help him up, help him up!” followed by “push him up, push him up!” Officer 1 also pushes others in front of him to get them to advance on the Capitol, and he yells “cmon, cmon, cmon, let’s go!” as those around him climb the bike racks and scaffolding. Needing help to get up, Officer 1 asks a nearby man to give him a boost. The man gives Officer 1 a lift up, and Offer 1 says “thanks bro.” As Officer 1 advances up the stairs, he continues to urge the crowd onward, yelling “cmon, go, go, go!,” followed shortly by “keep going, keep going!” These phrases are repeated as the undercover officer moves forward with the crowd. At one point, Officer 1 encounters a woman trying to go back down the steps and he discourages her from attempting it. Near the middle of the steps, Officer 1 encounters a man he recognizes wearing a blue jacket and what appears to be swim goggles and a white gargoyle mask with gold teeth. Officer 1 greets the manas “Tim,” and the plain clothes Tim responds, “what’s going on bro?”This video clearly evidences undercover law enforcement officers urging the crowds to advance up the stairs and scaffolding towards the Capitol on January 6. The government may claim that incidents like this did not happen, but the facts show they did. Since the government cannot be trusted to disclose these facts, it becomes even more important that defense teams, including Pro Se defendants, be able to directly examine the evidence.
Although I have reviewed the full video which Pope is referencing, I will refrain from an in depth fact check or contextualization of each quote, since I am unclear whether that would be a violation of the protective order I have signed. I will note two "corrections":
- As the Epoch Times article notes, I'm not sure whether the members of the "Electronic Surveillance Unit" are techinically officers. The individual who encountered Fi Duong is referred to as an "Metropolitan Police Department Undercover Employees" in the Duong and MacLaury filings.
- I have been able to confirm that the individual referred to as "Tim" in the Pope filing is in fact J6 defendant Fi Duong, not another undercover agent
I believe the video referenced by Pope constitutes perhaps more real and confirmed evidence of federal agents/employees acting as "agent provocateur" than any other claims of the sort which have been made since January 6th, including Ray Epps. Unfortunately, we still seem to be a long ways from the public or even members of the media being able to review the evidence to determine what role the actions of the undercover government actors had in how January 6th played out.