Four far-right Proud Boys convicted of sedition over Capitol attack
FILE PHOTO: Enrique Tarrio, the former
FILE PHOTO: Enrique Tarrio, the former "national chairman" of the Proud Boys. /CFP

FILE PHOTO: Enrique Tarrio, the former "national chairman" of the Proud Boys. /CFP

Four members of the far-right Proud Boys were convicted of seditious conspiracy on Thursday for their roles in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, U.S. media reported.

Enrique Tarrio, the former "national chairman" of the Proud Boys, and three other members of the neofascist organization were found guilty after a high-profile trial in the nation's capital.

Tarrio and four other defendants -- Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola -- were accused of trying to stop the certification by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory over Donald Trump.

Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6, 2021 but was accused of directing the storming of the Capitol by members of the Proud Boys.

Tarrio, Biggs, Nordean and Rehl were convicted of seditious conspiracy while the jury deadlocked over the sedition charge facing Pezzola.

All five, however, were convicted of several other charges including obstruction of Congress.

More than 900 people have been arrested in connection with the storming of Congress by Trump supporters, but only a handful have been charged with seditious conspiracy, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Two leaders of another far-right group, the Oath Keepers, were found guilty of seditious conspiracy last year, including its founder, Stewart Rhodes.

According to Tarrio's indictment, he met with Rhodes on January 5 in an underground parking garage in Washington and was in contact with members of the Proud Boys who breached the Capitol.

The assault on Congress left at least five people dead and 140 police officers injured and followed a fiery speech by Trump to thousands of his supporters near the White House.

Trump was impeached for a historic second time by the House of Representatives after the Capitol riot -- he was charged with inciting an insurrection -- but was acquitted by the Senate.

A House committee which investigated the Capitol riot recommended that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against Trump.

Attorney General Merrick Garland named a special counsel to oversee the probe into the former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election result and the attack on Congress.

Source(s): AFP

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