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Proud Boys riot trial postponed due to committee hearings

A federal judge on Wednesday agreed to postpone a trial of the former Proud Boys leader and other members of the accused extremist group Attack on the US Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020.

US. District Judge Timothy Kelly postponed the start of the trial from Aug. 8 to Dec. 12 after attorneys for several men argued their clients could not receive a fair trial by an impartial jury amid televised House Committee hearings investigating the Attack on the Capitol. They are also waiting for the committee to share documents that could become evidence at the trial.

Former Proud Boys national leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and four other men face charges of seditious conspiracy because authorities say there was a conspiracy to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from the president during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

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Tarrio, 38, of Miami, and his co-defendants – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola – have been in federal custody for months.

Her trial is expected to take four to six weeks and stretch into next year.

Biggs, Pezzola and Rehl asked that the trial be postponed. Biggs attorney J. Daniel Hull noted that the House Committee is unlikely to release hundreds of testimonies and interview transcripts until a trial begins in August.

“Transcripts are a must for study preparation,” Hull wrote.

Justice Department prosecutors concurred with the delay. They said the House committee’s failure to release the testimony and interview transcripts also hampered their ability to investigate and prosecute the Jan. 6 indictees.

Tarrio was against postponing the trial.

“Tarrio believes that whether the trial occurs in August, December or next year, there will never be an impartial jury in Washington, DC,” his attorneys wrote.

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Nordean’s lawyers refused to delay the trial for months and keep the Proud Boys leaders in custody.

Police arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot and charged him with destroying a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a December 2020 protest. Tarrio was not in Washington when the riot broke out, but authorities say he helped start the violence that has prevented Congress from confirming Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

The seditious conspiracy charge alleges that in the days leading up to Jan. 6, the Proud Boys held meetings and communicated via coded messages to plan to attack the barricades and attack the building with a mob of Trump supporters, it said it in the indictment.

Nordean, 31, of Auburn, Washington, was a Proud Boys chapter president. Biggs, 38, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was a self-proclaimed Proud Boys organizer. Rehl, 36, was president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia. Pezzola, 44, was a member of the Proud Boys from Rochester, New York.

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Two other Proud Boys members — Matthew Greene of Syracuse, New York, and Charles Donohoe of Kernersville, North Carolina — have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges and have agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department.

Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys in 2016, sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it a hate group. Proud Boys members call it a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists.” They often got into fights with anti-fascist activists at rallies and protests.

About 40 leaders, members or associates of the Proud Boys have been charged in connection with the January 6 siege. More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the uprising.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/22/proud-boys-riot-trial-delayed-due-to-committee-hearings/ Proud Boys riot trial postponed due to committee hearings

Sarah Y. Kim

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