Donald Trump claims that undercover agents could have stopped January 6 riots

Supporters of US President Donald Trump participate in a ‘Stop the Steal' protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington DC US 6 January, 2021

Donald Trump claims that undercover agents should have stopped January 6 riots


Donald Trump's lawyers are claiming that undercover agents hidden among Trump supporters could have stopped the January 6 riots, according to court filings.

As part of a massive pre-trial disclosure request in his election interference case, Trump wants information on all undercover agents acting within five miles of the Capitol January 6, 2021.

In a disclosure request to Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Trump's lawyers wrote that they want information on undercover agents to show it was security forces, not Trump, who could have stopped the insurrection.

"President Trump is entitled to all information regarding undercover agents and individuals acting at the direction of official authorities at the Capitol on January 6," the lawyers wrote, citing United States v. Zink, in which Trump supporter, Ryan Zink, was found guilty in September of three charges, for filming and encouraging the rioters from within the Capitol building.

The court ruled in the Zink case that the defendant "is certainly right that the identity of a potential undercover actor - assuming any were present at the Capitol on January 6 - could be exculpatory evidence that the Government must disclose."

Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

The former President's lawyers wrote on Monday that Trump different from Zink in that he is not claiming that he was led into illegal actions by an undercover agent, but rather that the undercover agents should have controlled the riot.

The lawyers' submission states that the presence of undercover agents would "suggest that there were adequate controls in place and that the violence at issue resulted from a failure of those controls and/or failed sting operations rather than any directions from President Trump."

The submission also added that the federal government "must also produce all materials that are inconsistent with prosecution's new theory that President Trump 'directed' and is 'responsible for the events at the Capitol on January 6'."

"This includes any materials suggesting that non-parties 'directed' events on January 6 or are otherwise 'responsible'—in whole or in part—for the violence that President Trump sought to prevent," the submission states.

On November 22, chief prosecutor Jack Smith filed a submission to strike out Trump's request for 57 groups of documents, many of them highly classified. Monday's filing was Trump's response to Smith.

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