Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other members — Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola — have been charged with seditious conspiracy over their presence at the Capitol during the protest on January 6.
Tarrio, 38, and the other members, had already been indicted in March on one count of each conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as two counts each of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and destruction of government property.
“A new 10-count superseding indictment returned Monday morning charges Tarrio, Pezzola and three other existing co-defendants — Ethan Nordean, of Seattle, Joe Biggs, of the Daytona Beach area, and Zachary Rehl, of Philadelphia — with coordinating travel to Washington and the movements of the group around the Capitol that day. The group is also accused of plotting to foment a riot and storm Congress, action that eventually forced the evacuation of lawmakers meeting to confirm the 2020 election results,” the Washington Post reported on Monday.
Sabino Jaurequi, part of the legal team representing the former Proud Boys leader, told Timcast, “Mr. Tarrio will have his day in court and we will vigorously represent our client through this process. Mr. Tarrio looks forward to being vindicated of these allegations.”
Tarrio was arrested on Jan. 4, 2021, on a DC warrant for destruction of property in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner in December 2020. He was released on January 5, but ordered by the Court to stay out of Washington — which he complied with. Therefore, he was not at the Capitol at all on January 6. The indictment alleges that he was giving orders and coordinating people’s actions remotely, something which he has denied.
The DOJ claims that in “mid-December, Tarrio created a special chapter of the Proud Boys known as the ‘Ministry of Self Defense.'”
“As alleged in the indictment, from in or around December 2020, Tarrio and his co-defendants, all of whom were leaders or members of the Ministry of Self Defense, conspired to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, the certification of the Electoral College vote. On Jan. 6, the defendants directed, mobilized, and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to dismantling of metal barricades, destruction of property, and assaults on law enforcement,” the press release claims.
“Although Tarrio is not accused of physically taking part in the breach of the Capitol, the indictment alleges that he led the advance planning and remained in contact with other members of the Proud Boys during their breach of the Capitol,” the DOJ said in a press release following Tarrio’s previous arrest.
The trial is scheduled to take place on August 8, according to Jaurequi.
There has been a fund created to help provide for Tarrio’s family and legal defense.
This extremely rare charge has also been filed against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and ten associates of the organization for their actions on January 6.
“Since filing the charges in January, a year after the mob violence, two of Rhodes’s co-defendants and one other Oath Keeper member have pleaded guilty to the charge and are cooperating with the Justice Department: Joshua James, 34, of Alabama, Brian Ulrich, 44, of Georgia, and William Todd Wilson, 44, of North Carolina,” the Post reported.