A Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach defendant has asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to unseal a video allegedly showing an undercover Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer shouting “Drain the swamp!” and “Our house!” and encouraging protesters to climb barricades and enter the U.S. Capitol.
One of those officers repeatedly predicted that someone would get shot on Jan. 6, 2021, Pope contended in a motion filed in November 2022.
“While my descriptions of the undercover MPD officers are accurate, the media and the public should not have to rely on my descriptions alone,” Pope wrote.
“It is in the interests of justice that this exhibit in support of my motion be seen by all.”
He also asked the court to remove the seal from a wider sampling of the MPD video shot by undercover operatives.
The undercover video is among 41,000 hours of footage held under court seal by the U.S. Department of Justice.
'Drain the Swamp!'In his November 2022 motion, Pope said “Officer 1” climbed over a police barricade on the northwest side of the Capitol exterior. The officer joined the crowd in chanting, “Drain the swamp!” and “Whose house? Our house!”
Officer 1—dressed in goggles, a dark jacket, and a striped face gaiter—pushed protesters in front of him as he cajoled them to keep moving toward the Capitol entrance, Pope wrote.
If these descriptions are borne out on the undercover video, it would be the most direct evidence to date of government provocateurs inciting the crowd to commit crimes on Jan. 6, 2021.
It also raises serious questions about what interactions Officer 2 and Officer 3 might have had with Babbitt.
“The fact that Mrs. Babbitt appeared [emotionally] charged by the time she reached the top of the steps could indicate that undercover government operatives influenced her behavior through their repeated chants and urgings to advance up the steps towards the Capitol,” Pope wrote.
Babbitt entered the Capitol at the top of the northwest stairs and a short time later made her way into a hallway outside of the Speaker’s Lobby.
At about 2:45 p.m., she was shot by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd. Babbitt was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later at a Washington hospital.
“Since the public interest and concern regarding these exhibits is understandably high, and since the government has already hidden these important facts from the American people for more than two years, I ask this honorable court to grant this motion as soon as possible,” Pope wrote.
Pope’s request came a day after disclosure that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave a copy of all 41,000 hours of Jan. 6, 2021, security video, body-camera footage, and other videos exclusively to Tucker Carlson at Fox News.
News of the special dispensation for Carlson and Fox drew a mixed reaction, with some Jan. 6 defendants and independent investigators slamming the move.