Federal prosecutors say a document found in the possession of Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys, contained a plan to occupy several buildings around Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 — including the Supreme Court building – “to show our politicians that we the people are in charge.
A report published Monday by The New York Times described the document as “detailed.”
Citing sources who had seen it, The Times said the document named seven buildings, including six House and Senate office buildings. He did not specifically mention the Capitol building, which was stormed last year by a crowd of thousands determined to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Titled ‘1776 Returns’, the nine-page document was first described in court filings against Tarrio, who is currently facing charges of conspiracy to obstruct government proceedings in connection with the events of January 6. last.
Prosecutors say an anonymous individual sent the pages to Tarrio at the very end of December 2020, days before the attack, calling for “as many people as possible” to raid the buildings.
The Times said the document’s origin is murky, though it may have been provided to Tarrio “by one of his girlfriends at the time.”
It would contain five different sections – titled “Infiltrate”, “Enforce”, “Distract”, “Occupy” and “Sit-In” – calling for groups of at least 50 people each to enter the seven government buildings. Attendees were advised “not to look tactical”, sources told The Times. If the groups had difficulty entering buildings, they would have been advised to start setting off fire alarms in nearby hotels and shops to distract law enforcement.
Tarrio was not at the Capitol riot himself, having been arrested two days prior for setting fire to a Black Lives Matter sign and after a judge ordered him out of Washington, D.C. Neither is he. accused of sharing the document with someone else, according to the Times.
But prosecutors say he “led pre-planning” with five co-conspirators – all of whom have already been charged – and “maintained contact with other members of the Proud Boys” during the Capitol attack.
Tarrio allegedly told members of the Jan. 6 band to arrive “incognito” and not wear anything to signify their alignment with the Proud Boys, according to court documents. He also reportedly floated the idea of dressing “all in BLACK for the occasion”, referring to the color most often worn by anti-fascist protesters who oppose far-right groups. (Wearing all black might have misled observers into thinking that “antifa,” an enemy of the Proud Boys, was actually behind the attack on the Capitol.)
Tarrio allegedly created an encrypted group chat in which the idea of staging a “main operating room” in front of the Capitol building was cemented.
“What would they do [if] 1 million patriots stormed and took the capital building. Shoot into the crowd? I don’t think so,” an anonymous member of the group chat said, according to court documents.
Tarrio’s arrest in the days leading up to the Capitol riot spooked his co-conspirators, who feared law enforcement could gain access to his phone, prosecutors say. After his release, Tarrio reportedly did not immediately leave the DC area. Instead, he spent 30 minutes huddled with other far-right leaders, including Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes, in an underground car park where a documentary film crew took over part of their conversation.
Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy earlier this year.