North Carolina Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to January 6 charges

The leader of the North Carolina chapter of the Proud Boys pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges related to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities ― opening a door on the interior of far-right group. operations.

Charles Donohoe, 34, has reached an agreement to plead guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers and conspiring to obstruct official process. Crowds stormed the Capitol grounds and broke through the building during the official certification of the 2020 presidential election, at the behest of former President Donald Trump.

At the time of the attack, Donohoe had risen to the highest ranks of the Proud Boys, a fringe organization whose leaders are accused of helping plan the violence on Capitol Hill.

He is one of six leaders of the group to be arrested and charged in connection with the Capitol riot. Everyone else resisted cooperating with the authorities; most recently, longtime Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio pleaded not guilty to seven federal charges on Tuesday.

An unidentified member of the Proud Boys gestures outside the Oregon State Capitol during a protest in support of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol on January 8, 2022 in Salem, Oregon.

Nathan Howard via Getty Images

Prosecutors say Donohoe was also involved in a division within the Proud Boys called the “Ministry of Self-Defense,” which was established in December 2020. The roughly 65-member division reportedly planned actions to take at Trump’s rally on January 6 to stop the peaceful transfer. of power from Trump to President Joe Biden.

Donohoe knew about the plan to storm the Capitol at least two days in advance, prosecutors say.

He reportedly joined the group of about 100 Proud Boys who left the main rally around noon to congregate west of the Capitol looking for an opportunity to break in. attack in a messaging group of the Ministry of Self-Defense.

He has been detained since his arrest in March 2021 and initially pleaded not guilty. A replacement indictment issued last month, however, aggravated the charges against him.

By cooperating with federal law enforcement and agreeing to turn over evidence, Donohoe faces five to seven years in prison for assault and up to 20 years for conspiracy.

Federal authorities have so far arrested nearly 800 people in connection with the attack on the Capitol, which left several dead in its wake.


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