In the next batch of criminal proceedings against protesters at Trump’s 2017 inauguration, federal prosecutors plan to bring an undercover agent from an unspecified department to the stand, Buzzfeed News reports.
The woman, identified by the alias “Julie McMahon,” is identified in court papers as a “an individual with ‘black bloc’ expertise” and a longtime infiltrator of the “anarchist extremist movement.”
McMahon worked undercover — though the filing does not say for whom — infiltrating an “anarchist extremist group” in New York from 2008 to 2010 and took part in a black bloc during protests in Pittsburgh in 2008 during the G20 conference, according to the government. She was going to participate in a black bloc as part of the Occupy New York movement, but that “did not materialize as expected,” prosecutors wrote.
Federal prosecutors will use McMahon’s extensive knowledge of black bloc tactics, they say, to prove that some of the remaining 59 people still facing charges for participating in anti-Trump demonstrations last year protested with intent to cause violence and property destruction—or to aid such destruction.
The filings do not specify whether “McMahon” infiltrated the particular group that protested that day, instead framing the witness as a person with intimate knowledge of such conventions as wearing all black and deploying “marshals, scouts, and medics” during a protest (knowledge just as easily gleaned by reading The Nation). Prosecutors did, however, say that revealing the witness’ identity could affect current “covert operations.”
In the last year, the feds have gone to extraordinary measures to make charges stick to this particular group of anti-Trump protesters. To argue a case against another (later acquitted) group of Inauguration Day demonstrators, U.S. attorneys used footage shot by Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe and argued that, in essence, anyone near a rioter was rioting themselves. In April of 2017, D.C. police raided the home of an activist not present at the protest, alleging he had a role in planning the event based on the testimony of undercover infiltrators.
“Julie McMahon” is scheduled to start testifying on March 26. I, for one, am curious what Occupy Wall Street did to prevent this “materialization” of her plans.