Dozens of messages, social media posts and videos show that the leaders of the far-right Proud Boys not only planned the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, but they recruited others to help. prevented Joe Biden from becoming president, federal prosecutors said Thursday during opening remarks in the seditious conspiracy trial.
Defendant and Proud Boys boss Enrique Tarrio wrote to the other members of the group on Jan. 1, 2021, according to prosecutors: “Let’s celebrate this New Year with one word… revolution. New Year’s Revolution.”
Attorney General Jason McCullough told the jury that Proud Boys leaders fear a Biden presidency could spell the end of the organization and that after President Donald Trump said during a presidential debate in 2020, “Step back and prepare,” the organization has reached a tipping point.
At that time, certain battle lines were being drawn. President Trump was with the Proud Boys and Joe Biden was with Antifa.
“The defendants’ mission threatened the very foundations of our government,” McCullough told the jury. These five defendants agreed — by any means necessary, including the use of force — to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s election.
The defendants — Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Riel, Dominic Pezzola and Ethan Nordean — have pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiracy to sedition and conspiracy to obstruct and obstruct official process.
According to McCullough, the five defendants planned to stop the transfer of power to Biden that day and communicate and organize through messaging apps. McCullough released video of several of the defendants allegedly tearing down police barricades, attacking officers and eventually being the first to storm the Capitol, partying along the way.
Why did some of the Proud Boys wear Antifa uniforms on January 6th?
“Victory is smoking in the Capitol, folks,” said Pizzola, who prosecutors said was the first to storm the Capitol using a riot shield he stole from a policeman inside the building, according to video shown in court. “This damn king is awesome. I knew we could take that damn mother [if we] Just tried hard enough. Proud of your mama f**k boy king.
Tarrio reportedly wrote in a public letter during the riot: “Don’t leave the king.”
Prosecutors released a video of Nordean allegedly celebrating the riot.
Nordean said, “I was part of the f**king that stormed the capital of the world’s most powerful f**king.
On January 7, Rehl reportedly wrote to the Proud Boys, “I am proud of what we accomplished yesterday.”
In their opening statements, defense attorneys have repeatedly told jurors that the Proud Boys had no intention of storming the Capitol on January 6 and instead had fallen into a mob mentality.
“You will see at trial no evidence to support the government conspiracy claim that these defendants conspired prior to January 6 to do what the government alleges,” Nordan’s attorney, Nick Smith, told the jury.
Of the deadly riots, Smith said: “It is only human for him to say something extraordinary that must have caused it. But as we often see, it is not true.”
Smith said that because of the “emotional unhappiness” of admitting that mob mentality had taken over, the plaintiffs had “delivered selective messages” to the “scapegoats” of the Proud Boys.
Tarrio’s attorney, Sabino Jauregui, said his client, who was not in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, has been blamed for the actions of others.
“You see Trump, President Trump, telling them the election was stolen,” Georgie said. It was Trump who told them to leave [to the Capitol]. And it was Trump who unleashed them on January 6. It was he who told them to come and “fight like hell”.
And he continued: “It is very difficult to blame the politicians of the left and the right, those who use us for fundraising and re-election, those who pit us against each other … Instead, they go to the easy target, they go to Enrique Tarrio. »
Jauregui told the jury that Tarrio, according to Jauregui, had no contact with members of the group that was at the Capitol and never called for an attack on the building.
Real’s attorney, Carmen Hernandez, begged the jury to forget everything they’ve heard about the Proud Boys’ reputation, including allegations that the group is violent or racist.
“Americans express a lot of opinions about politics, politicians, elections, and other public issues,” Hernandez said. “The fact that we profess these opinions, I will give them to you, is not evidence of a crime.”
“You all swore in court that you would put aside all theories and all opinions you had about the Proud Boys,” Hernandez said, adding, “I am counting on that.”
Smith, Jauregui and Hernandez all said the government spoke to and cooperated with FBI informants who were on Capitol Hill on January 6. These witnesses repeatedly claimed, the lawyers said, that the group had no plan.
While many defense attorneys condemned the Capitol riot, Pezzola’s attorney Roger Roots used his opening statement to downplay the attack, saying repeatedly that the Proud Boys case was intended to delay the six-hour convention.
“The government does a lot of six-hour breaks, from about two to eight in the morning,” Roots said of the mandatory Congress on January 6 when rioters stormed the Capitol.
“Some have called it an attack or even an insurrection,” he said. “The evidence will show that if this is an attack, it could be one of the weakest attacks you can imagine.”
Roots also said his client did not “steal” a police officer’s riot shield, as prosecutors alleged, and suggested that “someone chose to unbarricade” the Capitol windows, one of which Pezzola would have opened with the shield.
Roots concluded by asking the jury to consider whether Pezzola’s motive that day was really to prevent Congress from ratifying the 2020 election, and to take a hard look at what his client considered a “victory.” At that day.
“Mr. Pezzola described the win, simply, as taking that mommy a**,” Roots said.
“Creator. Social network follower and hipster. Web enthusiast. Passionate alcohol fanatic.” »