Proud Boys leader found guilty of seditious conspiracy for driving Jan. 6 attack
Jurors also convicted the leader and three others of conspiring to obstruct Congress’ proceedings on Jan. 6 and destroying government property.
A jury on Thursday convicted Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, and three allies of a seditious conspiracy to derail the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, a historic verdict following the most significant trial to emerge from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Jurors also convicted the four men — Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl — of conspiring to obstruct Congress’ proceedings on Jan. 6 and destroying government property. The jury acquitted a fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, of seditious conspiracy but convicted him of obstructing Congress’ Jan. 6 proceedings as well as several other felony charges.
Prosecutors cast Tarrio and the Proud Boys leaders as the most significant drivers of the Jan. 6 attack, assembling a “fighting force” that arrived at the Capitol even while Trump addressed a crowd of supporters near the White House. Members of the group were present for and involved in multiple breaches of police lines. They later celebrated their role in the breach.
The verdicts punctuate an extraordinary chapter in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack. Prosecutors have now secured seditious conspiracy convictions or guilty pleas for 14 Jan. 6 defendants — five associated with the Proud Boys and nine associated with the far-right Oath Keepers — the gravest charges arising from the assault on the Capitol.
All five defendants were convicted of a third conspiracy: a plan to prevent members of Congress and law enforcement from discharging their duties on Jan. 6. They were also convicted of felony civil disorder and destruction of government property — specifically a black metal fence that Nordean and Biggs were accused of dismantling while rioters faced off with police. Pezzola was separately found guilty of destroying a Senate-wing window with a police riot shield, which the jury also convicted him of robbing from a Capitol Police officer.
The jury failed to reach a verdict on whether the other four defendants were culpable for Pezzola’s destruction of the Capitol window or his assault of the officer whose riot shield he subsequently stole. The jury also remained deadlocked on an assault charge against all five defendants for another Proud Boy’s hurling of a water bottle at police.
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