U.S. prosecutors have accused four Proud Boys leaders of conspiracy and other charges connected to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, revealing in an indictment unsealed Friday new details on the alleged involvement of the pro-Trump group and two additional arrests.
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Protesters gather storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the … [+]
Prosecutors alleged leaders of Proud Boys chapters from four different states — Ethan Nordean of Washington, Joseph Biggs of Florida, Zachary Rehl of Pennsylvania and Charles Donohoe of North Carolina — conspired to encourage other members of the far-right group to attend the riot.
Rehl and Donohoe, the newly arrested defendants, were charged on counts that included conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and obstruction of law enforcement.
The grand jury indictment added charges of conspiracy and civil disorder against Nordean and Biggs, who had already been arrested in connection with the riot that killed five and injured dozens.
According to the indictment, Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Donohoe obtained tactical vests, radio equipment and other “paramilitary gear” for the riot. The four used social media and encrypted communications to “coordinate” the riot and donation websites to solicit more than $5,500 for the equipment and travel to Washington, D.C. The indictment points to posts about Jan. 6 on social media and other websites from as far back as last year. On Nov. 5, Biggs posted that “it’s time for [expletive] War if they steal” the election, as former President Donald Trump continued to falsely claim he had won another term. The night before the riot, Biggs told Nordean, Rehl and Donohoe and dozens of others in an encrypted messaging channel that he wanted to “go over tomorrow’s plan.” The four leaders also sought to throw off law enforcement by telling members to dress “incognito” rather than in colors that have typically been worn by Proud Boys at previous events, the indictment said.
Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Donohoe have not yet entered pleas in the case. Prosecutors have so far charged more than 300 defendants in connection with the Capitol insurrection, including at least 20 with ties to the Proud Boys.
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