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Jan. 6 Defendant Says FBI Tried to Recruit Him to Spy on Oath Keepers
Jeremy Brown says his refusal led to 2021 arrest for being at U.S. Capitol on day of violence
By Joseph M. Hanneman, The Epoch Times, January 14, 2022:
A retired U.S. Army Green Beret arrested for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, says the FBI tried to recruit him to spy on the Oath Keepers group a few weeks before the violence at the Capitol.
Jeremy M. Brown, 47, who is being held in the Pinellas County Jail in Florida on federal misdemeanor charges related to Jan. 6, told The Epoch Times he believes his arrest and prosecution are payback for his refusal to become a confidential informant.
Brown said he went to the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 dressed in tactical gear to provide security for event organizers and for VIPs who spoke at the rally.
He said FBI agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) met with him in late 2020 and asked him to become an informant.
“On Dec. 11, 2020, the exact same Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agents that (later) arrested me attempted to recruit me as a confidential informant,” Brown said in a letter to The Epoch Times from the Pinellas County Jail. “Their ‘pitch’ was intended to gauge my interest in infiltrating law-abiding citizen groups that had no criminal history and certainly were not designated ‘terrorist groups.’”
Epoch Times Photo
Jeremy Brown shown on police bodycam footage being told to back away from police lines at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Department of Justice)
The Oath Keepers is an association of former military, police, and first responders whose mission includes defending the U.S. Constitution and protecting constitutional rights. They are often described as a right-wing militia or an anti-government paramilitary organization, labels the group rejects.
Brown joined the Oath Keepers within a week of the November 2020 presidential election. “I joined the Oath Keepers to help them on their path to doing their mission, which is to build an organization that has a community outreach to not only law enforcement and military, but also to citizens,” Brown said on a March 2021 podcast.
Brown said he recorded the FBI meeting for his own protection. He told the agents he wasn’t interested in being an informant. “Of course I declined to pursue any offer from the agents and went on my way,” he said.
Less than a week before he met with the FBI agents, Brown received a visit at his home by two agents who inquired about some things Brown posted on the social media site Parler. Brown later began an email correspondence with an FBI agent in Tampa and was asked to a meeting.
Brown said he met with two agents on Dec. 11 in a restaurant in Ybor City, Fla., and recorded the interaction. Within less than a minute of the start of the meeting, one of the agents made an offhand reference to Brown possibly working with JTTF again. Later in the meeting, they made the pitch to him to be a confidential informant.
The audio from the meeting can be heard on a 2 hour 4 minute video of a podcast interview Brown did with Brandon Gray of JustAnotherChannel.com, posted on a web site Brown set up for his legal defense.
On March 4, 2021, Brown was a guest on the podcast to disclose the FBI’s recruitment attempt asking him to spy on the Oath Keepers.
FBI Recruitment Effort
“In the days and weeks that followed the events of Jan. 6th, I was disgusted and appalled at the blatant lies that were coming from the media, politicians and the Department of Justice,” Brown said.
“I went public to counter the false narrative and expose the truth to the American people,” he said. “I know I was making myself a target of the FBI, but I swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution, so the choice to speak out was an easy one.”
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