The Slatest

NYT: Cellphone Data Tie Proud Boys Member With Trump White House Before Capitol Riot

Trump supporters storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
Trump supporters storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Federal law enforcement officials have uncovered a contact between former President Donald Trump’s White House and a member of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys mere days before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The FBI obtained “location, cellular, and call record data” that revealed the information, reports the New York Times, citing an unnamed source who was briefed on the investigation. The FBI hasn’t been able to figure out what the two discussed and the source wouldn’t reveal any names of the people on either end of the call.

Advertisement

Word on the call comes as the leader of the group, Enrique Tarrio, confirmed he called Trump associate Roger Stone days before the assault on the Capitol. Tarrio called during a protest in front of Sen. Marco Rubio’s home and he put Stone on speaker phone to talk to the demonstrators. An official said that wasn’t the call in question. That means two members of the Proud Boys were in touch with people associated with the White House, illustrating how extremist groups had ties to people close to the Trump administration.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Earlier this week, there were reports that federal investigators were looking into communications between members of Congress and members of the mob that stormed the Capitol. CNN reported that there were “indications of contact” in the days surrounding Jan. 6. But the New York Times says so far there’s been “no evidence of communications” between rioters and lawmakers during the attack itself.

At least one person associated with the previous administration allegedly took part in the riot. A former State Department aide, Federico Klein, was arrested Thursday for participating in the riot. Klein thus became the first known Trump official to be charged with crimes connected to the Capitol riot. Videos reportedly show Klein assaulting law enforcement officers with a stolen riot shield. Prosecutors had asked Klein be detained before trial but the judge set a bail hearing for Tuesday.

Advertisement