Leaked communications from an FBI special agent reveal that she was apparently ordered to “destroy” mountains of evidence in the agency’s investigation of the Proud Boys.
Members of the Proud Boys, a group described by its founder as a “pro-western fraternal organization,” are standing trial for seditious conspiracy following alleged involvement in the events that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
However, one trial was recently halted after the defense revealed that FBI agents may have destroyed and fabricated evidence while withholding information from attorneys.
A Thursday court filing by the defense team of Proud Boy Ethan Nordean revealed that Special Agent Nicole Miller’s “boss assigned [her] 338 items of evidence I have to destroy,” according to communications between her and another agent.
According to court documents, Nick Smith, Nordean’s counsel, revealed during his cross-examination of Agent Miller “that a secret hidden tab in an FBI spreadsheet showed some of Agent Miller’s emails in which the FBI agent admitted fabricating evidence and following orders to destroy hundreds of items of evidence.”
Her messages also “contain statements concerning” agents allegedly accessing information protected by attorney-client privilege, an agent requesting that Miller “edit out that [the agent] was present” during a meeting with a confidential informant, and whether agents could construct a valid conspiracy charge against the Proud Boys “and not make a fool of ourselves.”
The court filing also claimed that Miller failed to disclose relevant information, including these communications, to the defense.
Under cross-examination, Miller was questioned regarding these matters, to which she “answered in the negative.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jocelyn Ballantine, the case supervisor for the Department of Justice, said the information revealed in this filing is likely classified, referring to it as a “spill,” as reported by Politico.
However, the defense objected to this characterization and was reportedly concerned that the claim of the material being “classified” was merely a pretense to stop their review.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly halted the trial to allow time for both the defense and the DOJ to clarify these issues.
Prosecutors filed an 18-page response on Sunday arguing that the claims of the defense have “no substance.”
“As the Court knows, disposal of evidence is a routine part of the lifecycle of every criminal case,” the filing said, adding that the 338 items of evidence destroyed were “from a nearly 20-year-old” trial that was “not related to this prosecution.”
Can we trust the justice system in the US? When mountains of evidence is destroyed? Can we get a fair trial?
No you can’t not yet anyway. The DOJ, FBI, CIA all need a house cleaning from top to bottom. LOTS of people need to be fired and or prosecuted.
So let me get this right, the agency that attempted to blackmail M.L.K. is now tanking evidence that would vendicate racists? Do not forget that this article began with the word allegedly.
Sounds like a case of wishful thinking on the defense part. The key is whether the destruction has ANYTHING to do with THIS case. My guess they are throwing things at the wall and hoping SOMETHING sticks.