Closing Arguments in Proud Boys January 6 Trial May be This Week

April 10, 2023

Closing arguments could happen as soon as this week in the seditious conspiracy trial of former Proud Boys leaders surrounding the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Already twice as long as had been anticipated, the trial has reportedly revealed little new information about the riot that attempted to prevent Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Presidential election. 

Former Proud Boys chair Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, as well as Joe Biggs, Carmen Hernandez, Ethan Nordean and Dominic Pezzola have all pleaded not guilty to seditious conspiracy, which is defined at attempting to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States.” Until recently, it had rarely been prosecuted. However, in October the former leader of the Proud Boys, Jeremy Bertino, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy for his connections to the January 6 insurrection. 

In November, a jury found Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right group the Oath Keepers, guilty of seditious conspiracy linked to his actions during January 6, as well as the head of the Oath Keepers’ Florida chapter, Kelly Meggs. In January, four more Oath Keepers were also found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

A guilty verdict in the current Proud Boys’ trial against Tarrio—who wasn’t even in DC on January 6—would affirm that those accused of planning and inciting the violence could be held responsible even if they didn’t join in it. 

The defense has pressed the assertion that there’s no evidence the Proud Boys plotted to attack the Capitol. Further, along with Tarrio, most of the other defendants are not accused of  engaging in violence themselves.

However, prosecutors have asserted that Tarrio directed the attack from Baltimore because he had been ordered to stay out of DC after being arrested on January 4 for burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic African-American church during the previous month.

So far, prosecutors have brought criminal charges against more than 1,000 people following the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Four people died during the insurrection, and five police officers died of various causes following the attack.

PHOTO: Ethan Nordean (left) and other Proud Boys heading toward the Capitol on January 6 2021

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