Leaked chat logs from an FBI agent revealed that her boss ordered her to "destroy evidence" in the Department of Justice's case against Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Tim Kelly paused the trial of Ethan Nordean — already in its third month — to determine how to handle the error.
In the leaked chat logs, Special Agent Nicole Miller revealed she said she was ordered by her boss to destroy “338 items of evidence.”
The revelations were shared in a filing by Proud Boy Nordean's (aka Rufio Panman) defense team on Thursday.
The leaked chats also suggest Miller failed to reveal relevant communications to the defense, potentially spied on privileged attorney-client communications, and was asked by another agent to "edit out that I was present" during a meeting with a Confidential Human Source Informant.
Some reports are saying that the DOJ may launch a bid to hide the messages from the jury by claiming some of the chats are "likely classified."
Defense lawyers pointed out the DOJ’s claims of “classified” material arrived just as the defense sounded the alarm about the content of some of the inadvertently disclosed messages. While Miller testified Wednesday she had produced about “25 rows” of messages, defense lawyers said there were thousands of rows of hidden messages that included contents they contended were directly relevant to their case.
Some of the messages appeared to reveal that FBI agents accessed contacts between defendant Zachary Rehl and his attorney, which led Miller to tell a colleague she thought Rehl would take his case to trial. In another message, an FBI agent tells Miller, “You need to go into that CHS report you just put and edit out that I was present.” After defense attorneys began to press Miller about the attorney-client messages on Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors objected, and Kelly halted the trial to permit the parties to debate the matter.
Nordean is charged alongside Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio and leaders Joseph Biggs, Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola with conspiring to derail the transfer of power from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
MORE breaking news in Proud Boys trial.Defense attys file to dismiss case based on revelations in Tucker tapes AND FBI concealing, doctoring evidence. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/fGhhArQ6e3 — Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) March 9, 2023
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