A Jan. 6 defendant has moved for the U.S. government to release Capitol Hill footage that purportedly reveals police brutality and the activities of four suspected undercover agent provocateurs.
Ryan Nichols, a 30-year-old Texas man who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, said in a Dec. 1 motion that footage deemed sensitive by the Department of Justice (DOJ), in fact, contains exonerating evidence for him and other Jan. 6 defendants. Nichols has been jailed in Washington, D.C., since Jan. 18 on numerous charges, including civil disorder, disorderly conduct, and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds.
Investigative reports and congressional hearings have claimed that undercover law enforcement agents may have participated in the Jan. 6 riots, but the Dec. 1 filing marks the first time such allegations have been made in court records against specific people, according to Nichols’s attorney, Joseph McBride.
“We have more than a good-faith basis to make these allegations,” McBride told The Epoch Times. “We don’t have conclusive findings, but this is based on months of investigation.
“This is a call for answers.”
According to Nichols and McBride, unreleased Jan. 6 footage shows the activities of four suspected government agents: unidentified men whom McBride nicknamed “RedFace45,” “GogglesMan,” “PippiLongScarf,” and “BirdMan.”
“Several members of this group circulated weapons and sprays throughout the crowd. Some members of this group were present in the now-infamous fight inside the tunnel,” McBride’s filing reads. “Additionally, other members of this group can first be seen on January 6th at the ellipse, then again during the march to the Capitol, and then in highly strategic places on the Western Terrace.”
RedFace45 (RF45) is purportedly seen in footage designated “highly sensitive” of the West Terrace, where he allegedly “reaches into a uniformed officer’s supply bag and removes an item” around 2:15 p.m.
“Yet he is never once hit or maced for his actions,” the filing said. “RF45 is seen passing weapons through the crowd on multiple occasions, and is seen communicating with other suspicious persons through use of military hand signals. All this suggests that he is indeed an undercover agent.”
Throughout the footage, RedFace45 can purportedly be seen working with PippiLongScarf, who appears in the tunnel during the infamous “heave-ho” chant.
“Mr. Nichols is accused of participating in the tunnel fight. [PippiLongScarf] participated in the tunnel fight. Nichols is accused of spraying mace in front of the tunnel. PLS sprayed mace in front of the tunnel,” the filing reads. “Clearly, Mr. Nichols will be able to raise cognizable claims of outrageous government conduct, entrapment, or estoppel by invitation if PLS is a government agent.”
Multiple other videos capture the actions of GogglesMan (GMAN). Defense attorney McBride said in the filings that this footage is of particular importance because his client is charged with using a bottle of pepper spray that originated with GMAN.
“Specifically, these videos clearly show GMAN walk up behind Mr. Nichols and hold a bottle of what is alleged to be OC Spray,” the filings say. “GMAN keeps the bottle held up until it is grabbed by a protestor and circulated into the crowd. GMAN then begin furiously pointing toward the tunnel’s entrance and appears to be saying ‘pass it up!’”
According to Nichols and McBride, GMAN is “at best” an undercover law enforcement agent trying to take the bottle of OC spray out of circulation. At worst, he is an agent provocateur arming unsuspecting protestors, they said.
As for BirdMan, Nichols and McBride said in their filing that he can be seen interacting with uniformed police.
“Each time something material happens at the tunnel entrance he descends from the area atop the tunnel and interacts with uniformed police,” the filing states. “Additionally, on multiple occasions, Birdman takes coordinated actions with #PippiLongScarf.”
Also among the footage is a video that “shows multiple occurrences of police brutality, including a vicious beating given by a Metropolitan Police Department officer of an unarmed civilian woman,” the filing states.
The filing doesn’t name the woman, but is likely referring to Rosanne Boyland, who died at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Nichols’s Nov. 1 motion for bail reconsideration describes him allegedly watching police beat Boyland, and he’s made similar statements about what happened in an interview with Newsmax. Reporter Julie Kelly at American Greatness has also written multiple exposés casting doubts on the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office conclusion that Boyland died of a drug overdose.
Nichols’s filing states that BirdMan had a “bird’s eye view” of everything that took place in front of the Capitol Hill tunnel, including Boyland’s death.
With Nichols already labeled in numerous major media outlets as a domestic terrorist or insurrectionist, McBride said in the filing that his client has concerns that his right to a fair trial “has been poisoned beyond repair.” Releasing the secret footage detailed above is vital to show the world what really happened on Jan. 6, according to McBride.
“America will never know the truth about Mr. Nichols or any January Sixer until the sensitivity designations are removed,” the attorney said. “As such, we respectfully ask this Court to release the tapes, and let truth have its day in court.”
The DOJ hasn’t responded to allegations of undercover agents, although prosecutors did criticize some of the defendant’s other claims in a Nov. 29 opposition to his motion for bond reconsideration.
According to the prosecution, Nichols is attempting to defend his Jan. 6 conduct by “casting himself as a hero who was merely fighting back against officers who were ‘terrorizing’ civilians.”
“Indeed, Nichols now presents himself as, in essence, a political prisoner who is the subject of a ‘desperate and disgraceful’ prosecution,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves wrote. “These claims, which are preposterous, appear to reflect the same anti-government, conspiratorial views that motivated Nichols’ violent conduct on Jan. 6, 2021.”
The motions for bail reconsideration and to make the videos public are both scheduled to be heard on Dec. 20 by District Judge Thomas Hogan. The motion to make the videos public is joined by several media outlets, including ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times.
The DOJ has argued that making the thousands of hours of secret Jan. 6 footage public would compromise the security of the Capitol Hill building by revealing “information less likely to be obtained through other means.”
In a separate case involving Jan. 6 defendant Ethan Nordean, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected that argument in an Oct. 11 order and made some footage of the West Terrace public. Kelly’s decision followed a similar decision on Sept. 21, when District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Jan. 6 footage to be made public in the case of defendant Eric Torrens.