DOJ charges Proud Boys leaders with seditious conspiracy over Jan. 6 attack

Source: Politico | June 6, 2022 | Kyle Cheney, Josh Gerstein and Nicholas Wu

The charges come the same week that the Jan. 6 select committee plans to hold its first hearing analyzing the Capitol breach.

The Justice Department has charged leaders of the Proud Boys — the pro-Trump extremist group that played a central role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack — with conspiring to use force to oppose the presidential transfer of power.

The seditious conspiracy charges, announced in a grand jury indictment returned Monday, escalate the case against the Proud Boys and their leader Enrique Tarrio, who now face some of the most severe charges related to the attack on the Capitol. The Justice Department unveiled similar seditious conspiracy charges against an anti-government militia group, the Oath Keepers and their leader Stewart Rhodes, in January 2022.

The new indictment also included a second charge against the group: conspiracy to prevent the police and Congress from discharging their official duties. The indictment underscores DOJ’s contention that the Proud Boys played a central role in stoking and amplifying the violence on Jan. 6. Prosecutors say the group “directed” and “mobilized” the crowd and helped move people toward the foot of the Capitol by removing barriers.

The group’s leaders, who were joined by dozens of other members of the Proud Boys, also timed their arrival at the Capitol to precede the end of Former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Ellipse, ensuring they were among the first to arrive at the barricades, according to DOJ and video footage of the group’s march.

One of those members, Dominic Pezzola of New York, became the first to breach the Capitol shortly after 2 p.m. on Jan. 6, using a stolen police riot shield to smash a window, video shows. That breach prompted a rush into the building, forcing Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety and delaying the counting of electoral votes required to facilitate the transition of power to President Joe Biden.

Trump famously exhorted the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a presidential debate in October 2020, a response to a question about his message to extremist groups. The Proud Boys interpreted that language as a call to action.


Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Discussion
  • Consistent #53819

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.