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A Congressman is demanding the FBI explain its use of a violent informant who went on to infiltrate a Denver chapter of Black Lives Matter during the summer of nationwide George Floyd protests in 2020.
Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson of The Intercept revealed that the FBI under then-President Trump in 2020 paid a violent, White man to infiltrate Denver BLM and encourage the chapter’s leaders to commit acts of terror, including encouraging the assassination of Colorado’s governor.
“If the allegations are true, the FBI’s use of an informant to spy on first amendment-protected activity and stoke violence at peaceful protests is an outrageous abuse of law-enforcement resources and authority,” Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told the Guardian in a report published on Tuesday.
Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Community, oversees all intelligence agencies, and has the power to order the FBI to testify to Congress.
The FBI’s infiltration of Black Lives Matter in Denver “appears to show another instance of the Trump administration trampling on the rights of Americans in order to divide our country and gain a political advantage”, Wyden said.
While the BLM leaders ultimately refused to commit the violent acts, the discovery adds to the FBI’s track record of infiltrating and co-opting Black liberation movements.
Bombshell investigation: FBI infiltrated Denver Black Lives Matter to cause violence and chaos
Aaronson released the bombshell findings in a 10-part documentary podcast series titled, Alphabet Boys, which has currently published three episodes as of Feb. 14.
After reviewing more than 300 pages of FBI reports, undercover FBI recordings, and publicly available protest videos, Aaronson discovered the FBI paid Michael Adam Windecker II to destabilize the movement. It came after Donald Trump’s Department of Justice erroneously designated peaceful protesters as “Black Identity Extremists,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“He was just this badass dude talking about how he worked in a foreign military and how he was for the Black Lives Matter movement,” Black Denver activist Zebbodios “Zebb”Hall recounted in the investigation.
With the intersecting police killings of George Floyd in Minnesota and Elijah McClain in Colorado, Denver became a powder keg of activism, and the FBI seized on the opportunity to cause chaos.
Quickly developing a reputation as a gun-wielding, anti-fascist freedom fighter, Windecker was able to maneuver into the upper ranks of Denver’s Black Lives Matter chapter. Despite denying any connection to the FBI, records obtained by Aaronson revealed he was paid $20,000 for his efforts to obstruct Black liberation.
“I don’t talk to the press, I don’t talk to politicians, and I don’t talk to police,” Windecker told Aaronson on a call, before hanging up.
FBI continues to spy on Black Liberation movements
The FBI compared the George Floyd-inspired uprisings to the terrorist attack on 911, according to a memo first obtained by the New York Times. Despite FBI Director Christopher Wray insisting his agency doesn’t investigate First Amendment-protected activities, Aaronson’s investigation and the long history of the FBI says otherwise.
Formed in 1956 to disrupt what it considered to be Communist activities, the FBI’s COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program) spied on Black civil rights leaders, workers rights groups and other left-wing movements.
On top of spying on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and allegedly encouraging him to kill himself, the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover once labeled the Black Panther Party and their free breakfast program the greatest threat to American society.
“Of these, the Black Panther party, without question, represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” Hoover said in 1969, according to an archived report from United Press International.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wants answers into the FBI’s Denver surveillance and planned disruption of democratic protests.
“The FBI owes the public a full accounting of its actions, including how anyone responsible for attempting to entrap and discredit racial justice activists will be held accountable,” Senator Wyden told the Guardian.
The FBI has declined to speak on the investigation to media outlets. This is a developing story.