Proud Boys leader accused of telling members to riot at Capitol -- and 'questioning manhood' of those who refused
Joseph Biggs (Screenshot via The Oregonian/YouTube.com)

The New York Times is reporting that Proud Boys member Ryan Samsel earlier this year told law enforcement officials that Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs ordered him to push down barricades at the United States Capitol on January 6th.

According to the paper's sources, Samsel claimed that "Biggs encouraged him to push at the barricades and that when he hesitated, the Proud Boys leader flashed a gun, questioned his manhood and repeated his demand to move upfront and challenge the police."

An attorney representing Biggs has denied the allegation, and the Times notes that "it is not clear whether the F.B.I. views Mr. Samsel as credible at this point or whether the Justice Department intends to use his information in its case against Mr. Biggs."

Video footage taken during the January 6th riots shows Samsel talking with Biggs and then walking to the front of the mob to shove down the barricades intended to keep protesters out.

In the process, Samsel also knocked down a police officer who was manning the barricades in an action that the Times writes "arguably set off the ensuing riot."

Samsel's claims are significant, writes the Times, because they could prove that Proud Boys leadership actively worked to push for violence at the Capitol.