Proud Boys leaders hit with seditious conspiracy charges for Jan. 6 attack

The former leader of the far-right group Proud Boys was indicted this Monday on a new federal charge of seditious conspiracy along with four other top leaders of the group, The Washington Post reports.

The charges against Henry "Enrique" Tarrio expand the Justice Department’s allegations of an "organized plot to unleash political violence to prevent the confirmation of President Biden’s election victory on Jan. 6, 2021, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol," the Post reports.

A new 10-count superseding indictment charges Tarrio, Dominic Pezzola and three other 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 on Jan. 6. They're also accused of plotting to foment a riot and storm Congress.

"The superseding indictment adds two charges to the earlier indictment: one count of seditious conspiracy, and one count of conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties. All defendants now face a total of nine charges, and Pezzola faces an additional robbery charge. The defendants are scheduled to appear for a hearing on June 9, 2022, in the District of Columbia," the Department of Justice said in a press release.

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"Through at least Jan. 6, 2021, Tarrio was the national chairman of the organization. In mid-December of 2020, 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 prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote, and to oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States," the department added.

"On Jan. 6, 2021, 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, breaching of the Capitol building, and assaults on law enforcement. During and after the attack, Tarrio and his co-defendants claimed credit for what had happened on social media and in an encrypted chat room."