FBI Had Informants in Proud Boys, Court Papers Suggest
The FBI had informants in the Proud Boys, court papers filed by the Justice Department on Monday suggest.
The government, it seems, had several informants within Proud Boys, but the court records make clear that the FBI had not yet had any direct contact with the group.
Federal authorities, however, obtained the court papers to provide an additional layer of detail from FBI informant Robert “Robby” Brewer, whose real name is Robert Hansmeier. Records obtained by the Los Angeles Times show he had no direct knowledge of Proud Boys’ plans, but instead “was helping to obtain information” about the group, court papers say.
The documents also say “Robby” met with Proud Boys’ founder, Gavin McInnes, in 2017, when he and a reporter visited the “anarcho” collective’s headquarters, in the Boston area.
But the court records reveal that Proud Boys did not operate with Brewer as a go-between.
At the time, McInnes was a fixture at the Proud Boys’ events. Proud Boys supporters often gathered at McInnes’ home and later met at the McInnes’ warehouse, “hundreds” of miles away. Brewer visited McInnes several times and gave him “intelligence” about the Proud Boys’ activities.
McInnes did not know Brewer was an FBI informant until the government revealed his name in November 2019.
“The fact that the government released to the public all of this material with Robert’s name and his criminal activity is an unprecedented step,” McInnes told Mother Jones. “The government has overstep[ped] their authority when they make that kind of public disclosure of an informant.”
In a text message obtained by the Associated Press, McInnes said he