by Joseph M. Hanneman at theepochtimes.com
A federal prosecutor admitted in court papers that three D.C. Metropolitan Police Department undercover officers acted as provocateurs at the northwest steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The admission came in a March 24 filing before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras that seeks to keep video footage shot by the officers under court seal.
Prosecutors accused the case defendant—William Pope of Topeka, Kansas—of an “illegitimate” attempt to unmask the video as part of his alleged strategy to try the case in the news media. Pope filed a motion to remove the court seal on Feb. 21.
“The defendant is not entitled to ‘undesignate’ these videos to share them with unlimited third parties,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Moran. “His desire to try his case in the media rather than in a court of law is illegitimate, and the government has met its burden to show the necessity of the protective order.”
Videos long hidden under court seal have become a major topic, especially with prosecutors disclosing in a number of high-profile Jan. 6 cases the involvement of multiple FBI informants.
Pope is seeking to lift the court seal on the undercover video as part of his drive to obtain full access to video evidence held by the government. Pope is representing himself in the criminal case being prosecuted against him. At a hearing on March 3, Judge Contreras seemed sympathetic to Pope’s motion to unmask the videos.
“The officer clearly incited that area, and we still don’t have video from all other undercover MPD,” Pope told The Epoch Times. “And as the numerous informants in the Proud Boys trial demonstrates, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface on FBI involvement.”
The undercover video shows three members of the MPD’s Electronic Surveillance Unit approach the Capitol’s northwest steps. One of the men, while surveying the crowd, stated, “Someone’s going to get shot.”
The men engaged in banter on the walk across the west Capitol lawn.
‘Never Seen Anything Like This’
“This is amazing,” Officer 2 said. Officer 1, who was shooting the GoPro video, replied, “Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Nearly 30 members of the Electronic Surveillance Unit were assigned to duty on Jan. 6, some of whom were gathering evidence on crowd activity. Members wore special bands on their left wrists to identify themselves as part of the Electronic Surveillance Unit, according to the MPD’s 96-page Jan. 6 action plan.