By Patricia Tolson
While there is growing speculation that federal agents and Capitol Police were involved in instigating acts of violence during the Jan. 6, 2021 protests and recording responses for the purposes of entrapment, evidence now proves that “plainclothes” members of a special Electronic Surveillance Unit (ESU) were embedded among the protesters for the purposes of conducting video surveillance. Evidence also points to a day of security deficiencies and police provocation for the purpose of entrapment.
According to a report—First Amendment Demonstrations, issued Jan. 3, 2021, by Chief of Police Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Homeland Security Bureau, Special Operations Division, obtained exclusively by The Epoch Times—the MPD began to activate Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) platoons on Jan. 4, 2021. Full activation of 28 platoons was scheduled to occur on the following two days.
According to the Department of Justice website, “A CDU is composed of law enforcement officers who are trained to respond to protests, demonstrations, and civil disturbances for the purpose of preventing violence, destruction of property, and unlawful interference with persons exercising their rights under law.”
The objective of MPD was “to assist with the safe execution of any First Amendment demonstration and ensure the safety of the participants, public, and the officers.” CDU personnel and Special Operations Division (SOD) members were to “monitor for any demonstration and/or violent activity and respond accordingly,” according to the report.
There has been speculation that federal agents and Capitol Police were involved in instigating acts of violence during the protests for the purposes of entrapment. As Red State reported in October 2021, “multiple surveillance videos show masked men opening up the doors to the U.S. Capitol Building to allow protesters to enter. In fact, one video shows them entering while Capitol Police officers simply stand around. Yet, we have no idea who those men are.”
The ‘Covert Cadre’ of ‘Provocateurs’
On a Dec. 7, 2021, episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the attorney for several Jan. 6 prisoners, Joseph McBride, identified a man tagged on the internet by so-called “Sedition Hunters” as “Red-Faced 45.” The man, dressed in red from head to toe—with even his face painted red—appears in a video engaging in continuous dialogue with uniformed personnel and others whom McBride insists are agents embedded in the crowd. McBride said the man is “clearly a law enforcement officer.”
“He passes out weapons, sledgehammers, poles, mace. Some of those things come in contact with some of the other protesters who have subsequently been charged with possessing dangerous weapons and are using dangerous weapons at the Capitol. That is clearly entrapment.
That is clearly the government creating conditions of dangerousness and entrapping members of the crowd to possess weapons and possibly use them for reasons that we cannot comprehend.”
On Jan. 13, 2021, J. Michael Waller, senior analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy, published a first-hand account of his observations. Waller is also President of Georgetown Research, a political risk and private intelligence company in Washington, D.C.; and was founding editorial board member of NATO’s peer-reviewed Defence Strategic Communications journal (2015–2018), and a senior analyst with Wikistrat. He is convinced people were embedded in the crowd to execute “an organized operation planned well in advance of the January 6 joint session of Congress.”
According to Waller, a “covert cadre” of people were scattered throughout the crowd to encourage people toward the Capitol, including “fake Trump protesters” he suspected were ANTIFA “wearing Trump or MAGA hats backwards.”
The Epoch Times reported on Jan. 1 that senior federal law enforcement officials refused to answer questions about an Arizona man named Ray Epps, captured on video the day before the rally wearing a Trump hat repeatedly encouraging protesters to “go into the Capitol” the next day. Many were suspicious of him. Chants of “fed, fed, fed” drown him out. On Jan. 6, he is seen telling the crowd “we are going to the Capitol, where all of our problems are.”
Epps is also seen standing before a bike rack barricade, whispering into the ear of a protester wearing his Trump hat backwards. Moments later, that man is joined by others in tearing down the barricade. Epps is then seen running with the crowd toward the Capitol Building. Despite the evidence, Epps has not had any charges filed against him and his photo has been removed from the government’s list of most-wanted people from the event.
Bobby Powell host of “The Truth is Viral” podcast, has several videos exposing two men, clad all in black, whom he believes are FBI informants. They are seen breaking windows, attacking the Capitol building, and even pushing people inside.
McBride finds it strange that these “provocateurs,” as he calls them, have yet to be charged, despite their having a much more active role in the Capitol incident than some who were charged, including some individuals who never even set foot on Capitol grounds.
Unknown to the public until now, the First Amendment Demonstrations report also reveals that an undisclosed number of “plainclothes” MPD ESU “members” were embedded into the crowd to “document the actions of the demonstrators and MPD’s response to any civil disobedience or criminal activity.”
In 2016, the MPD purchased 2,800 body-worn cameras.
It is unclear who the MPD ESU “members” were. However, they are never referred to as “officers” or “police.” Of the 37 “Specialized Units” listed as part of the MPD, an ESU is not among them. In order for other security personnel to recognize embedded ESU members among the protesters, they wore a specific “bracelet on their left wrist identifying them as MPD personnel,” the report stated.
Because he didn’t assume the job as police chief until Jan. 2, 2021, Waller believes Contee inherited rather than set up the ESU. However, Waller is confident “this report raises a lot of questions.”
“While it is admittedly an important type of unit to have in the nation’s capital, electronic surveillance requires warrants,” Waller told The Epoch Times. “The word surveillance itself implies intrusive rather than passive monitoring of people, in which case it would be required for the police to get warrants to conduct electronic surveillance on people. What kind of warrants were asked for and under which jurisdiction? Were they issued? If not, why? Are such warrants necessary for the type of surveillance this unit was doing and how does it work? This raises a huge amount of questions about an entirely new kind of surveillance unit by the police chief of the nation’s capital.”
Waller also said the reference to “members” of the unit, as opposed to “officers” or “agents,” is also very disturbing. While he said “the rest of the memorandum sounds very disciplined in it’s language and specific,” that it doesn’t identify “officers” as members of the Electronic Surveillance Unit “is very troubling.”
“Are they using private contractors? Are they using political volunteers?” Waller posed. “Are using paid agents of different types? We don’t know. This is something the public has a right to know and we need to get to the bottom of it. If the D.C Police is running electronic surveillance on American citizens without warrants, this could be a very serious breach of our civil liberties.”
Intentional Security Deficiencies
An Oct. 29, 2021 report by Politico exposed that a 17-page strategy report called “The Civil Disturbance Unit Operational Plan,” showed that police made plans for plainclothes “officers” to monitor protesters and carry out five objectives:
- To provide an environment in which lawful First Amendment activity can be safely demonstrated.
- To prevent any adverse impact to the legislative process associated with unlawful demonstration activity.
- To effectively mitigate actions associated with civil disorder; safely respond to crimes of violence and destruction/defacing of property.
- To safeguard and prevent any property damage directed at the US Capitol, West Front Inaugural Platform, and all Congressional buildings.
- Establish and maintain a fixed march route while excluding access to counter-protestors to minimize potential for violent interactions.”
However, because the CDU was understaffed and unprepared, it failed in all its objectives.
According to a 140-page report issued by then-Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton—”Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol”—Capitol Police’s CDU was ordered by supervisors not to use the department’s most powerful tools, like stun guns. Bolton’s report, which has not yet been widely released to the public, also contends “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership.”
The CDU was given riot shields, many locked in a bus some distance away, that “shattered upon impact.” They had expired weapons that didn’t work and inadequate training.
Bolton’s report also noted that officials were warned in an intelligence assessment three days before the protest that “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike” and that “Congress itself is the target.”
However, reports surfaced that then acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett sent a memo to lawmakers informing them that security officials found that “there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.”
Some Capitol Police officers were reportedly told to go home amid staffing shortages, reported Business Insider.
According to the “UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE TIMELINE OF EVENTS FOR JANUARY 6, 2021 ATTACK,” also obtained by The Epoch Times, “USCP Deputy Chief Gallagher replies” to the Department of Defense (DOD) “via text” on January 3, 2021, “that a request for National Guard support is not forthcoming at this time after consultation” with Chief of Police (COP) Steven Sund.
On Jan. 4, 2021, “COP Sund asked Senate Sergeant at Arms (SSAA) Michael Stenger and House Sergeant at Arms (HSAA) Paul Irving for authority to have National Guard to assist with security for the January 6, 2021 event based on briefings with law enforcement partners and revised intelligence assessment.”
• COP Sund’s request is denied. SSAA and HSAA tells COP Sund to contact General Walker at DC National Guard to discuss the guard’s ability to support a request if needed.
• COP Sund notifies General Walker of DC National Guard, indicating that the USCP may need DC National Guard support for Jan. 6, 2021, but does not have the authority to request at this time.
• General Walker advises COP Sund that in the event of an authorized request, DC National Guard could quickly repurpose 125 troops helping to provide DC with COVID-related assistance. Troops would need to be sworn in as USCP.
However, the timeline shows it took over three hours and five frantic requests before the National Guard was deployed.
During his opening remarks before two Senate committees on March 3, 2021, Walker told members of Congress he received a “frantic call” from Sund in the early afternoon advising that the security perimeter of the Capitol was being breached. However, military leaders informed him that deploying troops would not be “good optics.”
During testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Piatt and Flynn denied making such comments.
At the hearing, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene informed the committee three people were involved in turning down repeated requests for the deployment of the National Guard. “Chuck Schumer in the Senate, Nancy Pelosi in the House, and Mayor Muriel Bowser. Also involved, are the SSAA Stenger, who answers directly to Schumer, and HSAA Irving, who answers directly to Pelosi.
On Jan. 22, 2021, reports began to surface with images of National Guard members who were forced to stay in nearby parking garages in near-freezing temperatures sparking outrage among lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.
In stark contradiction to then acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett’s assessment that no “credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex” existed to warrant “temporary security fencing,” there are multiple admonishments in the First Amendment Demonstrations report of the importance “for the members to monitor the fence line” and orders that “all members” were to “monitor 16th Street and the surrounding area for any potential issues or demonstrations.”
“Members assigned to the bicycle rack” were ordered to “restrict pedestrian and vehicle movement upon making the closure of the police lines.”
“The bicycle rack, in conjunction with police cars and blocking vehicles will create a barrier in which no person or vehicle will be allowed to pass,” the report said.
However, video evidence shows police waving protesters past bike racks and even removing them to open a path into the restricted areas to encourage people to move toward the Capitol Building.
A March 2, 2021, USCP Report of Investigation regarding the incident, also obtained by The Epoch Times, confirms that on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, “an Unknown Officer violated USCP Directive 2053.013, Rules of Conduct, when they allegedly waived unauthorized persons into a restricted area secured by bike racks toward the US Capitol during an insurrection.” Evidence in the case included the “video posted to twitter, dated 01/06/21 ” and “CCTV of the East Front of the US Capitol, dated 01/06/21.”
On Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, then Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Commander of the United States Capitol Police, Inspector Michael Shaffer, sent an email with the Twitter video of the unidentified officer (UO) to Inspectors Amy Hyman (Senate Division), Thomas Loyd (Capitol Division), Kimberley Bolinger (House Division) and Acting Inspector Jessica Baboulis (Library Division) requesting assistance in identifying the UO. All parties responded to Shaffer that they were unable to identify the UO.
The recommendation was that the report “be APPROVED and the case CLOSED.”
On Feb. 4, 2021, this case was put on hold pending a review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Public Corruption. No further information is available.
Provocation and Entrapment
In a June 10 interview with EpochTV’s “Facts Matter,” Julie Kelly—a political consultant in Illinois and senior contributor for American Greatness—described Jan. 6, 2021, as “an inside job” and “something Democrats and some Republicans and federal agencies put together to entice” and “entrap” people who went to hear President Donald Trump’s speech. She noted that the FBI used agents to try to infiltrate the so-called militia groups.
Jeremy Brown exposed a video of FBI Terrorist Task Force agents attempting to recruit him to spy on fellow Oath Keepers.
The Department of Justice still won’t answer questions about Ray Epps, an Arizona resident captured on video encouraging protesters to breach the Capitol Building.
Kelly also noted how Capitol Police used flash bangs, teargas, and rubber bullets “to inflame the crowd and provoke a lot of the confrontations” seen in videos now being used as evidence to arrest, charge and incarcerate those who attended the rally.
More specifically, she accused Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Democrat Majority Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of “intentionally” leaving Capitol grounds unsecured.” She further alleged it was a “setup” designed specifically to cripple the MAGA movement.
While Bolton’s report said “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” the Capitol Police timeline says United States Capitol Police (USCP) personnel “deployed munitions at the Rotunda door” at 1645 hours (4:45 p.m.) where protesters were alleged to be “pushing in doors and breaking windows.” Three minutes later, USCP deployed “chemical munitions on Lower West Terrace to disperse insurrectionists.”
Video footage found at Gateway Pundit shows flash grenades being launched by Capitol Police into a group of protesters, consisting of women, children, and elderly people, who were standing peacefully behind barriers. According to American Greatness, Capitol Police were also firing on the crowd with rubber bullets. The approximate time of the confrontation was around 1:36 p.m. However, the USCP Timeline does not mention the deployment of these flash grenades.
Another video, which still exists on TeaParty.org, was filmed by Kash Kelly from ground level where the flash grenades went off. Kelly, who is now himself in prison regarding pretrial release violations regarding a previous charge and the subsequent charges related to his presence in Washington, is shown ensuring the evacuation of women in the area where the flash grenades exploded.
“The police started shooting at people,” Kelly says. “There were kids in the crowd.”
More extensive video footage, analyzed by Ray Dietrich of Red Voice Media, shows “the beginning of violence on January 6.”
An unidentified USCP officer is seen repeatedly yelling down to the crowd, assembled peacefully below his position, advising that if they “want to get a good picture” they should “go up into the bleachers.”
“The video shows the moment either stun grenades or tear gas canisters were deployed into the crowd of protestors,” Dietrich says as the video plays out. “The question I have, after a 20-year career in law enforcement, is why were these munitions deployed? I have picked this video apart and many more, and cannot see why the USCP used this force against the crowd. There is no fighting and no violence, so why did they target these people with less-lethal weapons?”
“What happened next?” Dietrich asks rhetorically. “Chaos. Violence. The crowd fought back. The Capitol was breached.”
As the stunned crowd scurries in the attack, police can be seen spraying people in the face with pepper spray. In another segment, three police officers are beating a protester who is being held on the ground. In a measure that further escalates the tension, police begin deploying tear gas into the already frantic crowd. In a course of 20 minutes, a once peaceful scene descends into total chaos.
In June 2021, reports surfaced that the Justice Department had begun to release its own video footage, including footage from body-worn cameras that allegedly show assaults against police officers defending the U.S. Capitol.
A summary of findings shows that:
- Evidence shows that until the deployment of munitions, the crowds were peaceful.
- MPD Electronic Surveillance Unit (ESU) members were embedded into the crowd to “document the actions of the demonstrators and MPD’s response to any civil disobedience or criminal activity.”
- Of the 37 “Specialized Units” listed as part of the Metropolitan Police Department, an ESU is not among them.