Jan. 6 Trial Involving Proud Boys Halted by Judge After Attorney Accuses FBI of Evidence Tampering


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A high-profile trial of Jan. 6 defendants who are part of the Proud Boys organization was abruptly halted after one of the defense attorneys accused the FBI of tampering with evidence, according to a report.

Dominic Pezzola, one of the Proud Boys defendants charged in the Capitol breach, had his trial paused on Thursday after defense attorneys presented classified FBI messages in court, claiming that the messages showed FBI agents discussing the alteration of evidence, according to The Epoch Times.

Pezzola is currently on trial for obstruction and conspiracy charges related to his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. He was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021, and indicted the same month, and his trial began in January of this year.

“There are a couple of emails between FBI agents casually discussing altering a document and destroying hundreds of pieces of evidence. It’s very disturbing and right now we have more questions than answers,” Roger Roots, an attorney at John Pierce Law who represents Pezzola, told the outlet in an email.


According to Roots, the trial was paused by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee, after leaked FBI messages were revealed in court. The messages were exposed during the testimony of FBI special agent Nicole Miller, who was involved in the agency’s investigations of the Jan. 6 defendants, The Epoch Times noted.

During the cross-examination of Miller by attorney Nick Smith, who is representing Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean, classified FBI emails were revealed that were hidden in a tab in an Excel spreadsheet and were used as evidence in Pezzola’s case by his defense attorney to support a motion to dismiss the charges against Pezzola.

As per The Epoch Times, Pezzola’s legal team argued in their motion to dismiss that the emails indicate the FBI had monitored communications between Nordean and his lawyer, violating the Sixth Amendment that prohibits interference with the right to counsel.

“In the Nordean case, confidential attorneys-client trial/defense strategy and position was wrongfully obtained by the government, about which was overheard, shared, utilized, where potentially ‘338 items of evidence’ were ordered to be ‘destroyed,’” Pezzola’s legal team noted in its motion to dismiss.

A separate filing by Nordean’s lawyers said that Miller noted in one correspondence that “[her] boss assigned [her] 338 items of evidence [she has] to destroy.” Nordean’s lawyers further alleged that another email showed an agent requesting Miller to “go into [a] CHS [informant] report” that Miller “just put [together] and edit out that [the agent] was present.”

Pezzola’s lawyers also claimed in their motion that the emails reveal that Miller had “admitted fabricating evidence and following orders to destroy hundreds of items of evidence.” They also alleged that the government had gained information that was beneficial to their case, resulting in substantial prejudice to all the defendants, including Pezzola, The Epoch Times noted.

“If justice means anything, it requires this case to be dismissed,” Pezzola’s lawyer said.

“My thoughts are we need a longer pause to get to the bottom of some of Agent Miller’s emails,” Roots told the outlet.


The trial pause comes after the airing of never-before-seen surveillance video footage of the Jan. 6 incident by Fox News host Tucker Carlson after his team was given access to it by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Last week, the former head of the House January 6 Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), admitted that none of the members of the panel had seen the footage prior to its release.

“I’m not actually aware of any member of the committee who had access,” Thompson said in a statement to CNN. “We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video.”

Regardless of whether the panel members’ staff simply skimmed through the video or were already aware of it but opted to keep it hidden, the January 6 investigation was supposedly tasked by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for delivering an impartial and precise account of the event.

Carlson’s team was given access to some 41,000 hours of previously undisclosed video footage taken in and around the U.S. Capitol on the day of the riot, and he aired some of it last week.

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