(GoRealNewsNow.com) – BREAKING NEWS NOW: Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, former Proud Boys chairman, and three other members of the extremist group were found guilty of seditious conspiracy for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
This marked another decisive victory for the Justice Department in the latest of three seditious conspiracy trials following the historic act of domestic terrorism. The jury deliberated for seven days, finding the defendants guilty on 31 of 46 counts.
During the nearly 15-week trial, prosecutors claimed the Proud Boys saw themselves as Trump’s “army,” inspired by his directive to “stand by” and his call for a “wild” protest when Congress met to certify the election.
The defense, however, blamed the former president and argued that the defendants were scapegoats for an unplanned riot triggered by Trump’s incitement of angry supporters.
Tarrio and the others faced a 10-count indictment, including charges of conspiring to oppose the lawful transition of power from Trump to Biden, conspiring to obstruct Congress’s confirmation of the election result, and obstructing the joint session of Congress.
The maximum penalty for either seditious conspiracy or the obstruction charges is 20 years in prison. All five men also faced charges of assaulting police and destroying federal property.
The verdict concludes the last of three seditious conspiracy trials, the most high-profile cases stemming from the largest prosecution in U.S. history. Tarrio and Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, are both prominent leaders of the far-right anti-government movements, accused of playing a significant role in organizing the violence or threat of violence by extremists drawn to the Capitol by Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 election.
Prosecutors have not yet produced any “smoking gun” evidence explicitly linking the actions of the Capitol’s violent actors to Trump or his advisers. However, this could change if anyone still facing charges or pending sentencing cooperates. The government’s own evidence at trial showed how challenging the investigation has been, with investigators only cracking Tarrio’s encrypted phone a year after the riot.
The prosecution argued that the group’s actions on Jan. 6 alone were evidence of a criminal conspiracy. They cited hundreds of encrypted messages, chats, and social media posts involving the defendants, discussing keeping Trump in power by any means necessary, including force. Defense attorneys claimed the government’s case was built on misdirection and innuendo, manipulating jurors’ hostility toward Trump to convict the men based on guilt by association.
Despite the convictions, the Proud Boys organization continues to grow, with members finding a new cause in protesting drag performances and transgender rights events around the country. The group has been divided by the prosecution and the revelation that Tarrio and others were federal informants.
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