Proud Boys Aided FBI Inquiries
Joseph Biggs, a Proud Boys leader charged with conspiracy to attack the Capitol on January 6, 2021, says he has a long-standing relationship with the FBI. He added the FBI was in touch with him regularly for information about “Antifa networks” in Florida and other parts of the US.
Antifa is a loosely affiliated group of violent leftists the FBI has described as adherents to an ideology and not a part of an organized group. Biggs, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, is one of the four Proud Boys organizers charged in the Capitol case, one of the biggest Justice Department cases originating from the Capitol siege.
John Daniel Hull, Biggs’ attorney, issued a court filing on March 29 to keep his client out of pretrial detention. The document states, “In late July 2020, an FBI Special Agent out of the Daytona Beach area telephoned Biggs and asked Biggs to meet with him and another FBI agent at a local restaurant. Biggs agreed. Biggs found out, after he traveled to the restaurant, that the meeting’s purpose was to check if he would share information about Antifa networks operating in Florida and elsewhere. They wanted to know what Biggs was ‘seeing on the ground.’”
Although the FBI did not corroborate the claims Biggs made, his claims are expected to sharpen the concerns about law enforcement having tolerated violent acts by the Proud Boys.
The group has long styled itself as an ally of the police in fighting against leftists. The relationship between the Proud Boys and law enforcement has been in the limelight after more than a dozen group members were charged with involvement in the assault on the US Capitol.
Hull said Biggs’ July meeting at the restaurant marked the beginning of the relationship between Biggs and the local FBI agent, due to which both of them were in regular contact for months. Hull added that when Biggs found out the FBI had obtained images of him inside the Capitol, he contacted the same agent and planned to turn himself in. The Proud Boys have said the purpose of their Washington visit was not to disrupt Congress but to protect pro-Trump demonstrators from Antifa.