In 2017, Steven Crowder, a conservative activist and host of a popular YouTube channel, infiltrated Antifa with his producer.
Weeks before a speaking engagement by Ben Shapiro at the University of Utah—an event Antifa planned to disrupt violently—Crowder worked his way into the group through the use of burner phones and encrypted chats. Crowder secretly recorded discussions between Antifa thugs promising to use “plain clothes and hard tactics” to shut down Shapiro’s speech on September 28, 2017. This included distributing weapons such as ice picks, combat knives, and guns.
Despite a heavy law enforcement presence for Shapiro’s speech, pockets of violence did erupt as Antifa confronted police and Shapiro supporters outside the venue, resulting in the arrest of a handful of rabble-rousers. Crowder then posted a video account of his undercover operation and noted a collective lack of interest by major news organizations in Antifa’s violent pre-planning efforts.
An FBI agent, however, appeared to want more information from Crowder about Antifa’s behind-the-scenes work. It’s unclear how Crowder contacted this particular FBI agent shortly after the Shapiro protest but he described the encounter on Megyn Kelly’s podcast last week: “We got on the phone with a guy at the FBI and he asked ‘how did you get involved, how did you get on this Antifa app?’” Crowder told Kelly about the initial call, wondering aloud why the FBI didn’t know how to access the encrypted chat. The FBI, Crowder said, didn’t express any interest in capturing the perpetrators, which Crowder found “odd.”
The correspondence with this FBI agent, working out of the FBI’s counterterrorism unit in Michigan, continued for some time then tapered off. It wasn’t until recently that Crowder heard the name of his one-time FBI contact: Jayson Chambers.
Chambers was one of the key agents involved in the FBI-concocted plot to “kidnap” and “assassinate” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. He was primarily responsible for handling Dan Chappel, the informant hired by the FBI in the spring of 2020 and compensated at least $60,000 to execute the scheme. “This was the guy on a fishing expedition with my office!” Crowder told Kelly about Chambers.
“I think he was thinking, ‘these guys must be extremists,’ and he realized we were just normal, Christian conservatives and moved on down the trail,” Crowder said. “But when I read it publicly, I was like, ‘boom, shit, this guy was a spy?’”
Not only did Chambers pull the strings in the Whitmer caper, he also urged Chappel to entice another unsuspecting target into attempting to abduct and kill Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. One of the most explosive texts disclosed in the Whitmer case occurred between Chambers and Chappel. “Mission is to kill the governor specifically,” Chambers texted Chappel in the fall of 2020, referring to Northam.
Chambers also instructed Chappel to advise the Virginia target on how to build an explosive device.
Earlier this month, a Grand Rapids jury acquitted two men charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer and use a weapon of mass destruction in the process. The jury could not reach a verdict on two other men, who likely face a new trial.
Defense attorneys successfully argued the FBI, including Chambers, entrapped their clients over a seven-month period. Jurors heard testimony from multiple FBI experts, agents, and undercover agents, in addition to Chappel, during the three-week trial. But one name was removed from the witness list just weeks before the trial—Jayson Chambers.
BuzzFeed News revealed last year that Chambers ran a business on the side: Exeintel LLC, described as an “internet intelligence company,” is owned by Chambers, who promoted the firm on social media under an anonymous account. Just hours before the arrests in the Whitmer fednapping plot were announced, the account tweeted, “Don’t worry Michigan I told ya A LOT more coming soon.”
In December, prosecutors notified the court that the government did not intend to call Chambers to testify and further requested that the judge preclude the jury from hearing about Chambers’ side gig at Exeintel. (The judge consented to the request.)
So, did Chambers attempt to spy on Steven Crowder? Considering Chambers’ central participation in the Whitmer plot—designed to interfere in the presidential election and bolster the FBI’s phony narrative that white supremacist “violent extremists” pose a national security threat—it’s highly likely.
There are 35,000 employees of the FBI: How could this have been a mere coincidence?
Crowder, after all, has a sizable platform and following, particularly among young people. During his “Change My Mind” segments, Crowder travels to college campuses to engage students on controversial subjects; in a recent episode, Crowder visited the University of North Texas to discuss men competing in women’s collegiate sports.
Without question, the FBI continues to target Americans on the political Right. A 2019 audit found a pattern of misconduct associated with the FBI’s “sensitive investigations” that involve political targets including elected officials and journalists. Was Steven Crowder one of them?