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Proud Boys leader Tarrio and 4 top lieutenants charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol attack
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Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, longtime president of the extremist group Proud Boys, was indicted Monday on a new federal charge of seditious conspiracy with four top lieutenants. The charges expand on Justice Department allegations of an organized conspiracy to instigate political violence to prevent the confirmation of President Biden’s election victory on January 6, 2021, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol.

Tarrio, 38, was not in Washington that day but reportedly guided the group’s activities from neighboring Maryland as members of the Proud Boys carried out the earliest and most aggressive attacks to confront and overwhelm the police at several critical points on restricted Capitol grounds. A co-defendant, Dominic Pezzola, of Rochester, NY, broke through the first window of the building at 2:13 p.m. with a stolen police riot shield, authorities said.

A new indictment replacing 10 counts released Monday morning charges Tarrio, Pezzola and three other existing co-defendants — Ethan Nordean, of Seattle, Joe Biggs, of the Daytona Beach area, and Zachary Rehl, of Philadelphia — with having coordinated the trips to Washington and the group’s movements around the Capitol that day. The group is also accused of plotting to riot and storm Congress, an action that ultimately forced the evacuation of lawmakers gathered to confirm the results of the 2020 election.

Federal prosecutors previously brought the historically rare charge of seditious conspiracy for the first time in the Jan. 6 attack on extremist group Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes and 10 associates. Since the charges were filed in January, a year after the mob violence, two of Rhodes’ co-defendants and another Oath Keeper member have pleaded guilty to the charge and are cooperating with the Justice Department: Joshua James, 34 , of Alabama, Brian Ulrich , 44, of Georgia, and William Todd Wilson, 44, of North Carolina.

But the new charges show prosecutors painting a broader picture of organizing within extremist groups that share overlapping, if not common, goals.

Meanwhile, deepening criminal investigation has revealed hints of coordination between the groups, even as the FBI and Justice Department expand their investigation into the ranks of the former president’s political orbit. Donald Trump. The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is expected to shed light on those links in public hearings beginning Thursday.


Washington

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