Undercover D.C. Police Officer Disciplined for Participation in J6 ‘Riot’

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(Stephen Horn, Headline USA) An Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department officer was disciplined in 2023 with a 10-day suspension for “participat[ing] in January 6 riot,” according to an annual report first reported on by the Washington City Paper.

MPD spokesperson Paris Lewbel told the City Paper that the officer “was disciplined for violating general orders relating to undercover operations during the January 6th insurrection.”

According to the report, only five of the 10 days of the suspension were taken out of accrued leave; the other five were “held in abeyance.” Other MPD officers listed in the report received the same length of suspension for misconduct such as sleeping on-duty, excessive force, misuse of official vehicles, and bodycam policy violations.

The recipient of this discipline, identified as a white/Caucasian male with a rank of investigator, appears to match the description of an MPD officer named Nicholas Tomasula.

In 2023, video captured by Tomasula was leaked to the public, revealing that he had encouraged the crowd at the Capitol on J6 with shouts of “keep going!” and “go, go, go!” while operating in an undercover capacity.

The first disclosure to the public of the undercover MPD officers in the crowd on J6 was in June 2021 in a Statement of Facts filed by the Department of Justice in the criminal case against J6 defendant Fi Duong.

The filing described how an unnamed “Metropolitan Police Department Undercover Employee” (later understood to be Tomasula) had met Duong on J6, and followed up with him to insert an undercover FBI agent into a “loosely affiliated, unnamed group of like-minded individuals” of which Duong was a member.

A year later, an MPD document first obtained by the Epoch Times revealed the plan for J6 included an Electronic Surveillance Unit under the command of Inspector Robert Glover. Plainclothes members of this unit were to wear a colored bracelet identifying them as MPD personnel.

Although the document included the names of 28 MPD personnel assigned to the unit, including “N. Tomasula”, it did not specify how many of those were operating in plainclothes on J6.

The specifics of Tomasula’s provocative statements while undercover were not revealed until November 2022, when pro-se J6 defendant Will Pope included a transcript of the video Tomasula captured of himself to refute claims by the government that it was “not aware of any individuals encouraging people on January 6 to move towards or into the Capitol … who were doing so on behalf of any U.S. local, state, or federal government agency organization.”

In March 2023, the DOJ acknowledged the video recorded by Tomasula while undercover at the Capitol, including that Tomasula and the two plainclothes officers he was with “appear[ed] to join the crowd around them in various chants, to include ‘drain the swamp,’ ‘U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!’, and ‘whose house? Our house!’”

Around this same time, the video in question was leaked to the public, despite it being marked as “sensitive” in the evidence database provided to J6 defendants.

Tomasula’s reported misbehavior was not merely limited to the statements he made while undercover on J6; another filing by Pope in August 2023 references internal investigation of Tomasula’s behavior, which found that “Tomasula did not preserve all potentially discoverable material, including any such material which may prove favorable to an accused” in relation to Tomasula’s infiltration of the Proud Boys leading up to J6.

Although the rank, race, and gender are consistent with Tomasula, and the timeline of Tomasula’s conduct being exposed is consistent with a 2023 disciplinary action, it is possible the unnamed officer in the MPD discipline report is another member of the ESU, or one of the non-ESU plainclothes MPD officers known to be present.

Raleigh-based journalist Stephen Horn can be found on Twitter at @stephenehorn or on Substack (“This Week in the Triangle”).

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