May 31, 2023

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are employing an unusual strategy to prove leaders of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group orchestrated a violent plot to keep President Joe Biden out of the White House, even though some of the defendants didn’t carry out the violence themselves.

As they wrap up their seditious conspiracy case, prosecutors are arguing that Proud Boys chief Enrique Tarrio and other leaders of the group handpicked and mobilized a loyal group of foot soldiers — or “tools” — to supply the force necessary to carry out their plot to stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to President Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

These “tools” helped Proud Boys leaders overwhelm police, breach barricades, force the evacuation of the House and Senate chambers and disrupt the certification of Biden’s victory, prosecutors allege.

Defense attorneys have dismissed the “tools” theory as a novel, flawed concept with no legal foundation. They argue that the Justice Department is trying to unfairly hold their clients responsible for the violent actions of others in the crowd of Trump supporters. Tarrio, for example, wasn’t even in Washington on Jan. 6.

The seditious conspiracy trial, which started nearly two months ago, is one of the most serious cases to emerge from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and comes as some conservatives continue to try to downplay the riot and push false narratives about what happened that day. Tarrio, who led the neofacist group as it became a force in mainstream Republican circles, is among the highest-profile defendants to stand trial yet and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of seditious conspiracy.

Seditious conspiracy — a rarely used charge from the Civil War-era — can be difficult to prove, especially when the plot was unsuccessful. And the group leaders on trial aren’t accused of engaging in violence themselves. Tarrio was arrested on separate charges two days before the riot.

Tarrio is on trial with Ethan Nordean of Auburn, Washington, who was a Proud Boys chapter president; Joseph Biggs of Ormond Beach, Florida, a self-described Proud Boys organizer; Zachary Rehl, who president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia; and Dominic Pezzola, a Proud Boy member from Rochester, New York.

Their trial could stretch into April. Prosecutors are expected to rest their case as soon as next week. Defense lawyers plan to present at least two weeks of testimony before jurors get the case.

The prosecution’s case hit a snag this week with the revelation that the government accidentally provided defense attorneys with sensitive messages from FBI agents. Testimony was suspended until next week as authorities searched the files for possible classified information.

The Justice Department presented a more conventional theory at the trial last year for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy along with another leader of the antigovernment group. Oath Keepers members stockpiled guns at a Virginia hotel so they could shuttle them across the Potomac River into Washington if they were needed to support their plot to stop the transfer of power, prosecutors said. The weapons were never deployed.

In this case, prosecutors are trying to show that the Proud Boys used people as their weapons.

“The Oath Keepers had their rifles. The Proud Boys had their ‘real men,’” prosecutor Conor Mulroe has said.

Mulroe was referring to text messages that Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs sent to Tarrio weeks before the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol. In a Dec. 19 text, Biggs told Tarrio that the Proud Boys have been recruiting “losers who wanna drink.”

“Let’s get radical and get real men,” Biggs added.

Randall Eliason, an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School and former federal prosecutor, described prosecutors’ tools theory as “unusual but not remarkable.”

“It’s not something that comes up a lot, but there’s nothing controversial about the idea,” he said. “And the word ‘tools’ is kind of the perfect way to describe it. In other words, whether you use a battering ram to break down the door of the Capitol or whether you enlist a bunch of other people to help you break down the door to the Capitol, they’re all tools, right?”

Prosecutors this week publicly identified nearly two dozen Proud Boys members and associates they say served as “tools.” All but one of the 23 people named as “tools” have been publicly and separately charged with Capitol riot-related crimes.

An FBI agent narrated videos for jurors that show Proud Boys’ “tools” marching from the Washington Monument to the Capitol and clashing with police officers who were trying to hold off the mob of Trump supporters.

“Let’s go! This is what we came for!” Proud Boys member William Pepe shouted before taking down a police barricade.

Prosecutors argue the “tools” didn’t have to know the ultimate goal of the Proud Boys’ conspiracy to be part of it. Mulroe compared the concept to human “mules” unwittingly transporting drugs or money.

“The case is about the concerted efforts of a group of people, this group that the defendants called real men. And our position is that they weaponized these people,” the prosecutor said.

Before the trial started in January, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that prosecutors could present evidence to support their “tools” theory. The judge acknowledged it’s an “unusual” theory but said the actions of rioters who followed Proud Boys leaders to the Capitol can be relevant under certain circumstances.

Norman Pattis, an attorney for Biggs, said comparing Oath Keepers’ guns to Proud Boys followers is a “clumsy analogy.” Pattis also said he doesn’t know of any case in which prosecutors have been allowed to argue that “acts of third parties are the legal responsibility of criminal defendants absent some nexus other than mere proximity and shared political views.”

“There is nothing but rank and dangerous speculation supporting this theory,” he wrote in court papers, urging the judge to “reject such evidence as little more than an effort to make hindsight do the work of proof.”


Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.

coin master generator free spins coin master h webflow
coin master free spins and coins links daily february 2023
free coin master free spin generator new update 2023 unsplash
coin master free spins 2023 spin link today website login
easy working free coin master spins coins generator 2023
coin master generator free spins coin master h webflow
50 000 free spins coin master 2023 daily links unlimited
easy working free coin master spins coins generator 2023
1k coin master free spins links today 14 february 2023
free coin master spin generator 2023 daily working new
100 free coin master spin generator 2023 new updated
100 free coin master spin generator 2023 new updated
coin master liens des tours spins et coins gratuits
today s free spins coins daily coin master rewards 2023
pdf how to get free coins on tiktok invid
tik tok air wick hack explore the latest videos from hashtags
how to get free tik tok coins in 2 minutes
how to get free tik tok coins in tiktok coins hack
how to get free tiktok coins 2022 legal hacks try now v 345973
free tiktok coin generator 2023 no human verification
free tiktok coin generator 2023 no human verification
free tiktok coin generator 2023 no human verification
tiktok coins generator qn s collections tokkegofya 709 npm
tiktok coins hack tiktok coins generator get looker studio
fish table jammer app tugas dhafi link
100 sure tiktok coins generator get free tiktok
unlimited free coins tiktok tiktok coins generator fqv taringa
tiktok free coins tiktok coins hack tiktok coins fr
free tiktok coins how to get tiktok coins in 2023 pathofex

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *