A former FBI official has claimed that the bureau refused Boston Field Office agents access to 11,000 hours of Capitol video footage on January 6 due to concerns about revealing undercover officers and confidential informants present at the riot.
George Hill, a supervisory intelligence analyst who worked for the Boston Field Office, made the allegation during a House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing on Thursday.
Hill accused the Washington Field Office (WFO) of pressuring Boston agents to open investigations on 140 individuals who traveled from Massachusetts to attend a pro-Trump rally in D.C. on January 6.
According to Hill, the WFO instructed him to launch 138 individual investigations based on their association with two Trump supporters who organized a bus trip transporting the group to Washington and entered restricted areas of the Capitol building. While WFO officials provided pictures of the two individuals inside the Capitol, they declined to provide video evidence.
BREAKING: The Washington, D.C. FBI Field Office CONFIRMED that undercover officers, confidential informants, and FBI assets were present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, despite FBI Director Wray testifying to the contrary! pic.twitter.com/AzBhilAsZ3
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 18, 2023
Hill informed the WFO that Boston agents would investigate the matter based on evidence that showed the 138 other individuals were inside the Capitol building but would not open any additional cases for simply attending a political rally – a First Amendment-protected activity. Hill alleged that when Boston agents asked why they couldn’t access 11,000 hours of available surveillance video, WFO agents claimed, “There may be UCs, undercovers, or CHSes, confidential human sources, and we need to protect their identities.”
Joseph Bonavolonta, Hill’s supervisor, confirmed that FBI officials asked Boston to open investigations into all 140 individuals. However, Bonavolonta testified that they did not brief him on “that level of specificity” regarding Hill’s claim that undercover officers were present in the Capitol.
The FBI has not yet commented on Hill’s claims. House Republicans are investigating the alleged weaponization of the federal government. They have summoned three FBI whistleblowers to testify about the bureau’s “abuses of power.” The whistleblowers have alleged that the FBI targeted American conservatives, directed agents to inflate domestic violent extremism statistics to fit a political narrative for the Biden administration, and prioritized January 6 investigations over child sex crimes.