Proud Boys leader charged with seditious conspiracy over Capitol Riot

Federal prosecutors have charged Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and other leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with seditious conspiracy over the Capitol riots.

According to that Washington Post, the group’s longtime leader Tarrio, and four of his key lieutenants – Joe Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola and Zachary Rehl – were charged Monday morning with seditious conspiracy. All have already faced multiple charges related to a failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in favor of former President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors allege that the five traveled to Washington, DC on the day of the riots and coordinated actions. They are also accused of inciting a riot and storming Congress.

“On January 6, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized, and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, resulting in the dismantling of metal barricades, property destruction, Capitol break-ins, and attacks on law enforcement,” Das said Department of Justice in a press release on Monday.

“During and after the attack, Tarrio and his co-defendants claimed credit for what happened on social media and in an encrypted chat room.”

Tarrio was not in Washington, DC, during the Capitol riots, having been banned from the city by a court on another charge. Prosecutors claim he remotely directed the events of that day.

Amid power struggles and allegations of loyalty, Tarrio resigned from his managerial role with the Proud Boys earlier this year.

He and the other accused have previously protested their innocence. It is not known how they intend to plead the seditious conspiracy charge.

To prove the Proud Boys guilty of a seditious conspiracy, prosecutors must convince the court that the defendants conspired to overthrow, disrupt, obstruct or oppose the government.

According to the Justice Department, a sixth Proud Boy, originally charged with the others, pleaded guilty in April.

The charge of seditious conspiracy against the Proud Boys follows the Justice Department accusing leaders and associates of the far-right Oath Keepers, a self-proclaimed militia, of the same crime. That post reports that three of those previously accused of seditious conspiracy have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the government.

A video showed members of both groups, including Tarrio and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, meeting at a parking garage near Capitol Hill the night before Jan. 6, 2021.

Tarrio and the other four are due in court on June 9.

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*Initial publication: June 6, 2022 at 4:17 pm CDT

Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth is a staff writer at the Daily Dot and covers all topics related to politics and technology with a focus on right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories.

Claire Goforth Proud Boys leader charged with seditious conspiracy over Capitol Riot

Jaclyn Diaz

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