Proud Boys Leader, Members Convicted Of Seditious Conspiracy In Jan. 6 Case


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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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Four Proud Boys members were found guilty of seditious conspiracy Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio and members Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola were all convicted of obstructing Congress’ Jan. 6, 2021 electoral vote certification, conspiring to prevent an officer from discharging their duties, obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder and destroying government property, according to multiple reports. Tarrio, Nordean, Biggs and Rehl were convicted of seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstructing an official proceeding, while Pezzola was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The jury found Pezzola guilty of one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding a government officer, while the other four defendants were found not guilty of that charge, Lawfare’s Roger Parloff reported. Pezzola was also convicted of robbing U.S. personal property and second government property destruction charge.

Judge Timothy Kelly announced he would declare a mistrial on Pezzola’s obstruction conspiracy charge and a second officer assault charge against all five defendants, with the jury failed to reach unanimous verdicts in those cases, according to Parloff. Tarrio’s attorney had argued that former President Donald Trump was responsible for Jan. 6’s events, according to Politico.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had said Tarrio, Nordean, Biggs and Rehl were all leaders in a Proud Boys chapter called the “Ministry of Self-Defense.” They claimed Tarrio chose the chapter’s other leaders, who helped carry out the conspiracy’s obstruction goal along with Pezzola and additional riot participants.

Tarrio was not at the Capitol when the Jan. 6 riots occurred. He had been arrested in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 4, 2021 for property destruction and ordered to leave the next day, but allegedly held a roughly half-hour meeting with Oath Keepers militia group leader Stewart Rhodes before going to Baltimore, according to the case’s indictment.

Rehl and Pezzola both testified that there was not a plan to storm the Capitol, but DOJ attorneys contended they could be convicted of conspiracy without an intricate one, The Associated Press reported. Nordean’s lawyer David Smith contested the argument that proving defendants’ consent to a plan was unnecessary, calling it “inconsistent with the jury instructions.

Kelly rejected multiple attempts by defendants to secure a mistrial after controversies emerged; for instance, Pezzola’s attorney Roger Roots said at least 40 government informants did surveillance work on Jan. 6, including ten or more plain clothes D.C. Metro Police Narcotics Special Investigation Division officers allegedly working among the Proud Boys. Roots argued his client was “entitled to a new trial,” which Kelly did not grant.

The government revealed on March 22 that a woman Tarrio’s lawyers wanted to call as a witness, who The New York Times identified as former “Latinos for Trump” leader Jen Loh, had been an official FBI confidential human source from April 2021 to January 2023. Kelly ultimately forbade the defense from raising Loh’s FBI relationship with the jury, and Tarrio’s attorney Sabino Jauregui decided not to bring her forward for testimony, according to Lawfare’s Roger Parloff.

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