Proud Boys Leader Reaches Plea Deal in Capitol Riot

Charles Donohoe, who ran the North Carolina chapter, will cooperate with the government after pleading guilty
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2022 5:05 PM CDT
Proud Boys Leader Reaches Plea Deal in Capitol Riot
Supporters of former President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – A Proud Boys defendant pleaded guilty Friday to two felonies in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, becoming the first of the group's leadership to admit guilt and agree to cooperate with the investigation of the organization. Charles Donohoe, who led the North Carolina chapter of the Proud Boys, pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, as well as to assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer. In return, prosecutors dropped the other counts in his indictment, NPR reports. The case is one of the most prominent brought by the Justice Department as a result of its investigation of the riot. Donohoe appeared in federal court in Washington virtually.

Five other senior Proud Boys, including Henry Enrique Tarrio, are charged with conspiracy in the attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden's electoral victory and have pleaded not guilty. Donohue's cooperation could help those prosecutions and cause others to seek similar deals. The 34-year-old faces 20 years in prison on the conspiracy conviction and eight years for assaulting police, though Donohue's plea deal probably will mean shorter terms, per CBS News. He also will pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the building.

Before Jan. 6, Donohue posted in a Proud Boys group chat that DC officials were trying to contain the protests to deny former President Donald Trump "the people's support," adding, "We can't let them succeed." The leaders met at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, then went to the Capitol, per CNN. Video shows him pushing past police with a crowd, carrying a police riot shield, and going up the steps to the Capitol. "We took it over unarmed," he messaged other Proud Boys later, court records say. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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