DisruptJ20 protesters dismissed as a joke an undercover Project Veritas video showing activists supposedly planning to shut down Thursday night’s DeploraBall by setting off smoke bombs or the sprinkler system — but D.C. police weren’t buying it.
The 34-year-old man arrested Thursday night for conspiracy to commit assault at the event was among the activists featured in the undercover video released this week, according to court documents made public on Friday.
Scott Ryan Charney was one of the three men caught on camera discussing plans to set off fire alarms and spray Butyric acid — an ingredient commonly used in stink bombs — at the National Press Club, where the party for Donald Trump supporters was held Thursday night. In the Project Veritas video, Mr. Charney is identified as Scott Green, the documents state.
Project Veritas this week publicly released an undercover video taken Dec. 18 that shows three men associated with the D.C. Antifascist Coalition and DisruptJ20 group discussing plans to disrupt the DeploraBall.
After the release of the video, DisruptJ20 organizers said the activists in the undercover video figured out the Project Veritas investigator was a plant and “gave him false information about … what they felt was the most humorous red herring available: a false plot to use stink bombs at an event called the Deploraball with the so-called ‘Alt-Right.’”
Court documents state that police relied on the video turned over to investigators on Tuesday by the unidentified witness as well as emails sent between protest organizers when they filed the criminal charge against Mr. Charney. The court documents do not indicate how the emails were obtained, but state that Mr. Charney wrote to several individuals that he had conducted reconnaissance at the National Press Club, and believed the the group “would be able to accomplish their objective ‘with no negative consequences for our side, nor any collateral damage.’”
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Mr. Charney “went on to further discuss that more people would be needed inside the building to carry out their plans,” according to the court documents. The email message states that the group would further discuss the plans in person.
Police were looking for the two other men, identified as Luke Kuhn and Colin Dunn in the video, but officials said they have not been taken into custody.
Mr. Charney was arraigned on the charges in D.C. Superior Court Friday, as President Trump was being sworn into office.
He pled not guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was released from custody on the condition he stay away from the inauguration zone throughout the rest of the weekend.
Attorney Elise Haldane said Friday that her client had pled not guilty and had no further comment about the charges.