OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
1:20 PM – Thursday, May 4, 2023
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Patriotic Men’s drinking club, Proud Boys organization, and three of his followers have been found guilty of several offenses, including seditious conspiracy, for their participation in the events at the Capitol on January 6th.
On Thursday, Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Joseph Biggs were found guilty by a federal jury in Washington, D.C. The members were charged with conspiring to obstruct the peaceful transition of power from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden as well as obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and aiding and abetting and destruction of government property.
On the unusual accusation of seditious conspiracy under the pre-Civil War-era legislation, everyone but Pezzola was found guilty. The jury deliberated for seven days before handing down the decision and had listened to over 50 days of testimony as well as went through large amounts of video and social media evidence.
Pezzola was separately found guilty of stealing a police shield as well as assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. As evidence, he was shown on camera during January 6th, busting through a glass window with a stolen Capitol Police shield during the breach which he acknowledged on the stand.
According to the prosecution, the Proud Boys planned to use “any means necessary, including force” on January 6th to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden.
The challenge prosecutors faced in the trial was Tarrio’s case due to the fact that he had spent January 6th in Baltimore after being banned from Washington, D.C. the day before. After the events following that afternoon, the prosecution contended that Tarrio ordered his troops remotely, directing them to “don’t f—ing leave” and sending messages about revolution.
“Make no mistake, we did this,” Tarrio wrote on social media during the riot.
“The spirit of 1776 has been resurfaced and has created groups like the Proud Boys. And we will not be extinguished,” Nordean allegedly wrote in Nov. 2020.
“Hopefully the firing squads are for the traitors that are trying to steal the election from the American people,” Rehl posted.
Prosecutors accused Tarrio of orchestrating a fighting force with a group they called the “Ministry of Self Defense” comprised of dedicated Proud Boys and top leaders, as well as celebrating the attack on the Capitol after it happened and giving the Proud Boys credit for the breach. In text evidence, he had compared Proud Boys’ actions that day to those of George Washington, Sam Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
The prosecution said that on January 6th, the Proud Boys were “thirsting for violence” and had planned ahead to use “any means necessary, including by force,” to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden.
The Proud Boys testified that there were no intentions to attack the Capitol and have portrayed themselves as nothing more than a hard-charging social group where going to political demonstrations was combined with partying, drinking, and trading obscene jokes.
According to the Justice Department, more than 1,000 arrests have been made in connection with the events on January 6.
Other Proud Boys who have pleaded guilty included Joshua Pruitt who was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in August and Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, who was sentenced to four years in prison in December.
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