Proud Men's Leaders' January 6 Rebellion Attempt Inches Close.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After three months of testimony, dozens of witnesses and countless legal battles, a jury will soon decide whether the former leader of the Pride Boys is guilty. On January 6, 2021, he attacked the US Capitol.

Closing arguments could come as early as this week before a jury convicts Pride Boys national chairman Enrique Tario and four lieutenants of what prosecutors say is a criminal conspiracy. A conspiracy to forcibly stop the transfer of presidential power From Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

In the trial, which took twice as long as expected, little new information emerged about the Jan. 6 attack, Congress’ confirmation of Biden’s victory, or the far-right’s role in the Capitol riots. But the guilty verdict against Tario, who was not in Washington, D.C., at the time of the riots, confirms that those accused of planning and inciting the incident can be held accountable, even if they did not cooperate.

The Pride Boys, a neofascist group known for brawls and street brawls with left-wing activists and disrupting drag performers and other LGBTQ events around the country, could be facing new trouble.

The team, Tario and others on trial are facing separate multimillion-dollar lawsuits. In the year A judge is set to decide how much to pay a historic black church in Washington, D.C., after Pride Men defaced a Black Lives Matter sign in December 2020 during a violent pro-Trump rally. The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church is seeking up to $22 million in fines, saying it is part of an effort to intimidate those fighting for racial justice.

Tario was not in Washington on January 6 because he had been arrested two days earlier for his role in burning another Black Lives Matter banner that had been torn from another Washington church, Asbury United Methodist. After Tario’s arrest, he was ordered to stay out of town.

The conspiracy case in Washington federal court began with opening statements in January By reducing the conflict between the judge and defense lawyersrepeated judicial inquiry, lengthy cross-examination of witnesses, and other legal tactics often keep jurors waiting in the wings rather than listening to the court’s words.

Proud Boys Chapter Leaders on Trial with Tario Ethan Nordian of Auburn, Washington. and Zachary Rehl, of Philadelphia; self-described Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida; and Dominic Pezzola, a member of the Proud Men from Rochester, New York.

It’s unclear whether any of them will testify before the defense rests and the jury hears closing arguments from attorneys.

The backbone of government affairs Here’s the message Pride Boys leaders exchanged privately on Telegram before, during and after the Capitol riots. With each failure of Trump’s lawyers to challenge the election results in court, their online rhetoric grew louder.

Tario on November 16, 2020: “If Biden steals this election, (the Proud Boys) will be political prisoners.” “We won’t go quietly… I promise.”

“Don’t come out (expletive),” Tario said on social media as the crowd stormed the Capitol.

A proud Boyce member asked, “Are we a militia yet?” When he asked. Tario answered with one word – “Yes” – in a voice note.

“Make no mistake,” Tario wrote. “We did it,” he wrote.

Defense attorneys They argued that there was no evidence that the Proud Boys planned to attack the Capitol on January 6th.

He emphasized that he was a proud boy FBI informants Prior to January 6, there were no red flags raised about the team at their respective levels. In an effort to show the jury that Tario was trying to avoid violence, they showed him how. Tario was repeatedly talking to an officer. He was assigned to monitor the activities of extremist groups in Washington and advised the group’s planning chief in the weeks leading up to January 6.

A number of leaders and members of the Oath Guard, who were previously charged with conspiracy, argued that the sudden outbreak of violence was fueled by election anger and not a premeditated plan. While prosecutors said the Capitol attack was just the culmination of a larger plot by the Oath Guards to stop the transition, defense attorneys repeatedly raised the lack of evidence that the Oath Guards had a clear plan to invade the Capitol.

In the end, prosecutors managed to get the Oath Keepers founder guilty of conspiracy to commit violence at trial. Stuart Rhodes And Five other membersBut three others were acquitted. The others were convicted of other serious crimes. Sentencing for Rhodes and the other oath keepers is scheduled for next month.

In a sworn indictment, prosecutors may point to a cache of firearms at a Virginia hotel as evidence that they planned to use force to stop the transfer, which is a key part of the crime.

Of the Pride Boys defendants, only Pezolla was charged with rioting or vandalism after he was filmed smashing through a Capitol window with a riot shield.

Prosecutors in the Proud Boys case instead chose Tario and other loyal foot soldiers to round up— or “equipment”. – To provide the necessary power to execute their plot.

Defense attorneys say this is an odd, flawed legal concept, and that their messages are taken out of context. In particular, they made Tarion more to blame for the chaos and more to blame than Trump. He spoke before marching supporters to the Capitol. Pezzola’s lawyers even tried to subpoena Trump, but the effort appears to have gone nowhere.

Without his testimony, Trump could include the jury’s verdict. Jurors watched a video of the 2020 presidential debate that drew attention to the moment Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand up” leading to outbursts and questions about membership.

“These guys didn’t hold back. They did not stand by them. Instead, they moved,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough told jurors.

Key prosecution witnesses included two Proud Boys members who cooperated with the government in hopes of obtaining lighter sentences. one of them, Matthew Green, members of the Proud Boys testified that they expect “civil war” after the 2020 election. the other, Jeremy BertinoThe Proud Boys testified that they see themselves as “the tip of the spear.”

Bertino is the only Proud Boy to plead guilty to a violent conspiracy charge. Neither said they knew of any specific plans to storm the Capitol, though Bertino said he wanted to keep Biden out of office. Greene said group leaders celebrated the attack on Jan. 6 but did not openly encourage members to use force.

The trial was adjourned briefly when prosecutors told defense attorneys that the woman expected to testify in Tario’s defense was a woman. He worked as an undercover FBI informant. After the January 6 attack. Defendant’s attorneys were shocked by the woman’s meeting with the defense team, but prosecutors said. The informant was never told to collect information about the defendants. Or their lawyers. Tario’s lawyers ultimately decided not to call her as a witness.

The judge is expected to hear the church’s closing arguments on Tuesday in the civil case filed by the Metropolitan AMA. It is about the Proud Boys as a group as well as Tario, Biggs, Nordian, Bertino and another member. The judge previously said that the group will be liable in default for not responding to the lawsuit or failing to participate in the case. The only question is how much, if anything, they have to pay.


Richer reports from Boston.


AP coverage of the Capitol riots

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