Supposedly, the FBI has designated the conservative activist group, the Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”, according to an unverified document produced by Washington state law enforcement.
The FBI’s 2018 designation of the self-confessed “western chauvinist group” as extremist has only been claimed by an Oregon County Sheriff and a hard-left group dedicated to destroying President Trump’s administrations by any means necessary.
The Proud Boys was founded by the Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. McInnes has insisted that his group is not white nationalist or “alt-right”, and to date no evidence has been produced to verify these claims. The Communist-founded propaganda group, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists them as a hate group.
Watch the slow-motion knockout of a violent Communist attacking a Proud Boy known affectionately as “Chainsaw” below.
The document also claims without verification:
“The FBI has warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific north-west”, and: “Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”
The report, and the FBI’s supposed warning to south-west Washington police agencies about the Proud Boys’ role in escalating violence at these events came in August, two months before the group was involved in an infamous weekend of street violence in New York City and Portland, and not long after they defended themselves against rampaging Communist rioters in downtown Portland on 30 June.
The document, provided to the Guardian by the hard-left anti-Trump group, Property of the People, was part of an internal affairs investigation into a probationary deputy in the Clark county sheriff’s department.
Former Clark county deputy, Erin Willey, was fired last July after a photo of her wearing a “Proud Boys Girls” sweatshirt was published by the Vancouver, Washington newspaper the Columbian. The Proud Boys Girls is the female auxiliary of the men-only group founded by McInnes in 2016.
The author of the document, headquarters commander Michael McCabe, is in charge of internal affairs, training, background investigation and courthouse security in the Clark county sheriff’s department.
After confirming that he wrote the document that the FBI refuses to verify, he told the Guardian in a telephone interview that the FBI’s classification of the Proud Boys as an extremist group was revealed to him in “a briefing we were given by the FBI” on 2 August, at Clark county’s west precinct. He has offered no evidence of his claims, other than his word.
The briefing supposedly included agency heads from local law enforcement, and in it the FBI said that they “have been warning [local law enforcement] for a while” about the Proud Boys, “not just in Washington but around the nation”.
The briefing including the Proud Boys was purportedly delivered by an FBI analyst, according to McCabe.
The supposed briefing touched on topics including “How the FBI tracks hate/extremist groups”, “Brief history of these groups in the Pacific NW”, “A description of currently active groups with a focus on the Portland/Vancouver area”, and “Current trends or concerns over law enforcement officers/employees involvement with these groups”.
The document says that Willey was an active Proud Boys Girls member between November 2016 and October 2017, and in February 2017 she “actively participated in the manufacturing, advertising and selling of Proud Boys Girls’ merchandise on a website”.
Membership in the Proud Boys, the fabricated document says, may constitute “evidence that a deputy is biased or has some motive to lie” which could constitute a prosecutorial risk.
According to the report, Willey was placed on administrative leave after the Columbian contacted the sheriff’s department on 2 July. She was fired on 17 July, before the report was completed, and just before the Columbian published its story.
The report also states Willey’s belief that the photo of her in a Proud Boys sweatshirt was given to the Columbian by her former boyfriend, and “active Proud Boy member”, Graham Jorgensen.
Jorgensen has been a regular participant in rallies organized by the Clark county-based Patriot Prayer group, whose events have included Proud Boys, and which have frequently culminated in violence.
Other law enforcement agencies have discovered Proud Boys in their midst and responded in a similar kneejerk manner. A month after Willey was fired, Brian Green, a patrol deputy in Louisiana, was also let go after social media posts revealed his allegiance to the group.
Willey and Jorgensen could not be reached for comment.
In Clark county, Proud Boys have been integral to the Patriot Prayer movement, which organizes rightwing street marches and rallies in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and other cities in the Pacific north-west.
Asked about the apparent high level of Proud Boy activity and rightwing organizing in Clark county, McCabe said: “I think both as an agency and me, personally, we worry about that.
“Anybody who has watched the news recently can see that the United States appears divided. Any time you are dealing with groups who are espousing hate, it’s certainly a concern for law enforcement,” he added.
McCabe pointed to a joint statement by Atkins and the Clark county prosecuting attorney Tony Golik in the wake of reporting on Willey’s firing.
The Proud Boys disagree.
Van Dyke sent KATU a statement saying:
Following is the entire statement sent to KATU by Van Dyke:
“The Proud Boys has not been able to independently confirm this classification. Nevertheless, our position is unchanged: racism of any kind – including white nationalism – is unwelcome in our fraternity. We believe in western culture – which includes principles such as limited government and individual rights. These same idea were considered extremist in 1776. If those same principles are again considered “extremist” in 2018 then perhaps it’s time for our us as nation to take a good long look at the philosophical heights from which we have fallen.
We also recall the release of an FBI file about Martin Luther King Jr. about a year ago that falsely characterized Dr. King as a communist who engaged in orgies with prostitutes. In both that case, and their supposed classification of the Proud Boys, we believe that the actions by the FBI could be characterized as ‘extremely careless.'”
Below you can see the foes of the Proud Boys being arrested after rioting in Portland.
“They are plain and simply a white power group,” claims Gunita Singh, a lawyer for the Marxist group, Property of the People, which first obtained the document mentioning the Proud Boys from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
“We have numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, also known as FOIA requests, in with the FBI for records on the Proud Boys and other neo-fascist outright groups,” Singh claimed.
Singh said her group is suing the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department in part because they took too long to respond to records requests.
“It’s important to understand what kinds of resources they are allocating toward combating white power because for decades the FBI and the intelligence community have been squandering resources on profiling the left and squashing leftist social justice movements,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said the agency declines to comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the FBI said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
That document from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office was mainly focused on the investigation into former Deputy Erin Willey. She was fired after the Columbian published a photograph of her wearing Proud Boys-affiliated clothing.
Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Portland, refusing to confirm the claims, sent KATU the following statement:
“The FBI can never initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on individuals who commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security. When it comes to domestic terrorism, our investigations focus solely on criminal activity of individuals—regardless of group membership—which appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population or influence the policy of the government by intimidation or coercion. The FBI does not and will not police ideology.
The various levels of intelligence analysis and investigative activity that the FBI can undertake—as well as the thresholds required to reach them—are laid out in our Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG). In addition to reading through that, we would encourage you to keep in mind that there is no federal, domestic terrorism criminal statute.
The FBI regularly assesses intelligence regarding possible threats and works closely to share that information with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. The FBI’s top priority remains protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, both international and domestic. Through our threat review and prioritization process, FBI Headquarters operational divisions and our 56 field offices identify and prioritize national and local threat issues, develop strategies to counter these threats, and appropriately allocate resources. We utilize all necessary resources to support terrorism investigations, drawing on expertise across all divisions as well the skills and authorities of our partners on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces – and, when we become aware of a specific threat of violence, we will surge the full strength of the FBI’s resources to the investigation.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
November 23rd, 2018