Skip to Content

FBI informant speaks with CNN about her role in Proud Boys trial

<i>MARANIE R. STAAB/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>A man wears a Proud Boy vest as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered at Delta Park in Portland
AFP via Getty Images
A man wears a Proud Boy vest as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered at Delta Park in Portland

By Holmes Lybrand and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

Over the past year, Texas woman Jen Loh has been in touch with several Proud Boys now on trial for seditious conspiracy, talking with the members of the far-right group and their defense counsel about the case and suggesting possible witnesses and attorneys who could help.

All the while, Loh was also a paid FBI informant.

That revelation threw a wrench into the ongoing trial this week in federal court in Washington, DC, when defense counsel learned of her relationship with the government.

In an interview with CNN, Loh said she never told her FBI handlers anything about the Proud Boys. She said she reported to the FBI “mostly” about Antifa and split ways with the bureau after she and her handlers decided her testimony in the Proud Boys trial would be an issue for the working relationship.

Loh said she began communicating with the FBI in 2018. According to the government, she was an informant from April 2020 until January this year. Loh said she was only paid by the FBI once, when she sent security footage of people harassing her at her home.

“Antifa-types kept harassing me,” she said, adding that since her name was revealed online in connection with the Proud Boys case, she has been on the receiving end of non-stop, hate-filled messages.

Loh, previously a member of Latinos for Trump, participated in Proud Boys text chats and had extensive communications with one of the defendants in prison. She also suggested starting prayer groups with the defendants’ family members, according to defense counsel.

In the trial of five Proud Boys in connection with their actions surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, defense counsel argued that the case shouldn’t proceed because the government failed to disclose Loh’s relationship with the FBI.

But after prosecutors assured Loh never informed on the defendants, defense attorneys signaled they were ready to move ahead with her testimony on Monday. Though Judge Timothy Kelly has yet to determine the extent of what they can question Loh about.

The role of confidential human sources, or CHS, on January 6 has become a central focus in right-wing circles, where conspiracy theorists assert that January 6 was a trap to make supporters of the former president look bad.

The fight over Loh’s testimony also underscores a dispute between defense counsel and the government since before the trial began over who in the Proud Boys was feeding the FBI information and how much investigators knew about the far-right group’s plan for January 6 before the riot ever started.

The five defendants — Enrique Tarrio, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola and Joseph Biggs — have all pleaded not guilty.

Informants, who in some circumstances are paid by the FBI to report back information, can be authorized by their handlers to take actions that would otherwise be illegal — like entering Capitol grounds.

It’s clear from the exhibits and testimony that prosecutors have shown during the trial that law enforcement had several people within the organization reporting back information. One exhibit in the case suggested that there were more than a dozen FBI informants in the Proud Boys around the time of January 6.

Tarrio, the Proud Boys chairman, claimed to have previously worked as an informant.

But in her testimony last week, FBI Agent Nicole Miller said she was only aware of two informants within the Proud Boys during the riot — one of whom marched to the Capitol on January 6 and reported back to their handler, and one who stayed with Tarrio outside of Washington, DC.

But defense lawyers have repeatedly argued that there are numerous informants whose identities prosecutors are hiding. Those people, defense lawyers allege, told their FBI handlers that there was no plan to storm the Capitol on January 6.

“Not a single CHS told the government that there was a plan for January 6,” Sabino Jauregui, Tarrio’s lawyer, said in court Friday, “that Proud Boys planned to storm the Capitol.”

At some points during the trial, however, the sheer number of informants within the Proud Boys has become a joke — with one defense lawyer even telling the judge this week that “I am not, nor have I ever been, a CHS.”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newssource


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content