WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – A historic verdict was reached Thursday in the seditious conspiracy trial against five members of the Proud Boys.
It’s surrounding their actions leading up to and on the day of the deadly January 6th us Capitol insurrection.
Four members of the Proud Boys who are alleged to have leadership positions in the far-right extremist group were found guilty of seditious conspiracy by a jury in Washington, D.C. more than two years after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Defendants Enrique Tarrio – the Proud Boys’ longtime chairman – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola faced a range of charges for their roles to forcibly prevent the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.
All five defendants were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, and destruction of government property and aiding and abetting.
John Miller is CNN’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. He said, “This is sending the signal that there are serious consequences to domestic groups that try to interfere with the workings of democracy.”
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the seditious conspiracy charge against Pezzola. Unlike the other defendants in this trial, Pezzola is not alleged to have a leadership position in the organization and was inactive in Proud Boys group chats.
The defense argued it was Donald Trump who caused what occurred on January 6th and that Tarrio, who wasn’t at the Capitol that day because he had been arrested, was a scapegoat.
Prosecutors said that after the insurrection, Tarrio posted to social media: “Make no mistake, we did this.”
The jury also did not reach a verdict with regard to some defendants on charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers as well as destruction of government property and aiding and abetting. The jury returned to deliberations on those counts.
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