4 Proud Boys Leaders Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy in US Capitol Attack

Masood Farivar

WASHINGTON — A federal jury in Washington has convicted the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys and three associates of seditious conspiracy for their role in the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and regional leaders Joe Biggs, Ethan Nordean and Zach Rehl, also were found guilty Thursday of conspiring to obstruct Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

But the jury failed to reach a verdict on both conspiracy charges against a fifth defendant in the case, Dominic Pezzola.

Pezzola is a former Marine and boxer who joined the Proud Boys after the 2020 election but held no leadership position.

The five defendants faced a total of nine charges related to the attack on the Capitol, including obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to prevent Congress and federal officers from discharging their duties. They were found guilty of most.

Pezzola was also convicted of an additional charge of robbery for stealing a police officer’s riot shield to smash a Capitol window.

FILE – This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, center, and four others charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, in Washington, Oct. 6, 2022.

What is Seditious Conspiracy?

The verdict marked a major victory for the U.S. Justice Department as it probes the deadly rampage that led to the deaths of five people, injured more than 100 police officers, and sparked one of the largest criminal investigations in U.S. history.

Prosecutors faced a daunting challenge in the case: to build and prove a seditious conspiracy charge that is notoriously difficult to prosecute.

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