Neo-Nazi talk-radio host Hal Turner served as a paid FBI informant, his lawyer confirmed this week.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has previously reported that Turner was on the FBI payroll. In 2008, unidentified hackers posted E-mail correspondence between Turner and an FBI agent who appeared to be his handler. The FBI refused to comment at the time on Turner’s relationship with the agency.
Now, Turner’s defense attorney, Michael Orozco, has told Hatewatch that Turner served as an FBI informant for roughly five years beginning in 2002. “I think when it comes out in the future as to what kind of role he had, people will be greatly surprised,” Orozco said.
He said Turner revealed information about a possible assassination plot against Obama. Orozco said the same thing at a bond hearing for Turner in Chicago on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. Turner is charged with threatening to murder three federal judges.
Orozco declined to elaborate on the potential threat to Obama or Turner’s work for the FBI, saying that he planned to subpoena Turner’s FBI contacts for the Aug. 10 continuation of the bond hearing. “I am hopeful that the matter will proceed on the 10th, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office may seek to object to certain individuals being subpoenaed,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hogan told U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Ashman on Tuesday that he hadn’t heard about the potential assassination and that Turner’s relationship with the FBI had ended “some time ago,” according to The Associated Press. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago had no additional comment.
The agency Turner once worked for arrested him on June 24 at his home in North Bergen, N.J. The charges stem from Internet postings in which Turner blasted a June 2 decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that essentially upheld local handgun laws. Three weeks before that arrest, Turner was taken into custody in New Jersey on charges that he incited violence against two Connecticut legislators.
Turner has a long history of posting racist rants and apparent threats against public figures. “I’m trying to show and prove that there was never any intent on his part to harm any of these judges,” Orozco told Hatewatch. “He’s a shock jock. That’s it.”
The magistrate ordered that Turner remain in custody until the Aug. 10 hearing.