Conviction Officially Laid Out For Proud Boys leader

A jury in Washington on Thursday convicted Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three of the farright groups lieutenants of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Tarrio and Ethan Nordean, Joe Biggs, and Zachary Rehl were found guilty of conspiring to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election and prevent Joe Biden from becoming president of the United States, as well as other charges stemming from the attack. They were, however, acquitted of charges that they assaulted, impeded, or resisted officers.

Deliberations continued for the seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding charges for Domonic Pezzola.

The conviction of Tarrio and his fellow Proud Boys comes on the heels of the case of Stewart Rhodes, leader of another farright group called Oath Keepers, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in the events of Jan. 6.

Video of the two ringleaders meeting in a Washington parking garage on the eve of Jan. 6 was part of the volumes of footage obtained by the Justice Department in the case.

The Proud Boys have been in the spotlight since thenPresident Donald Trump told the group tostand back and stand by during a 2020 presidential debate. Tarrio‘s attorneys blamed Trump for encouraging and revving up the crowd that ultimately broke into the Capitol.

The groups membership surged following that moment, and prosecutors argued it had become a fighting force led by Tarrio and others. Tarrio was not present in Washington on Jan. 6 after his arrest on separate charges just days before, but prosecutors argued that he directed his troops remotely with messages about revolution and telling themdont fing leave after the building was breached that afternoon.

The Proud Boys, however, have maintained that there were no plans to attack the Capitol, and sought to cast themselves as nothing more than a hardcharging social club in which partying, drinking and exchanging crude jokes went along with attending political protests.

The trial, which lasted several months and included dozens of witnesses and mountains of video and social media evidence, has been the longest to date in the Justice Departments pursuit of Capitol rioters.

At times, Judge Timothy Kelly lost his temper and admonished the lawyers for interrupting or seeming to ignore his directions.

Prosecutors emphasized to the jury that the Proud Boys did not need to have detailed or successful plans to be found guilty. The conspiracy allegations hinged on their mutual understanding to oppose the government by force.

The conviction of Tarrio and his fellow Proud Boys is a major victory for the Department of Justice, which has been using the cases of the Capitol rioters to send a warning to other wouldbe domestic terrorists.

Todays convictions demonstrate that those who participated in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 will be held accountable, said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin in a statement.This prosecution is part of the Departments larger efforts to hold accountable all of those who participated in the lawless attack on the Capitol.


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