Proud Boys Members Charged With Seditious Conspiracy

Former leader Enrique Tarrio is among 5 charged
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2022 7:10 PM CDT
Proud Boys Members Charged With Seditious Conspiracy
Proud Boys members Joseph Biggs, left, and Ethan Nordean, right with megaphone, walk toward the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The former top leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group and other members were charged Monday with seditious conspiracy for what federal prosecutors say was a coordinated attack on the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Biden's 2020 electoral victory. The latest indictment against Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, the former Proud Boys chairman, and four others linked to the group comes as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot prepares to begin public hearings this week to lay out its findings, the AP reports.

The indictment alleges that the Proud Boys conspired to forcibly oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power. Tarrio and the others—Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola—were previously charged with different conspiracy counts. They are scheduled to stand trial in August in Washington, DC, federal court. The seditious conspiracy charges are among the most serious filed so far, but aren't the first of their kind. Eleven members or associates of the anti-government Oath Keepers militia group, including its founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, were indicted in January on the rarely used Civil War-era charge that calls for up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment alleges that the Proud Boys held meetings and communicated over encrypted messages to plan for the attack in the days leading up to Jan. 6. On the day of the riot, authorities say Proud Boys dismantled metal barricades set up to protect the Capitol and mobilized, directed and led members of the crowd into the building. Tarrio wasn’t in Washington, DC, when the riot erupted on Jan. 6, 2021, but authorities say he helped put into motion the violence that day. An attorney for Tarrio said that his client "is going to have his day in court" and that "we intend to vigorously represent him through that process." (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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