The leader and main members of Proud Boys accused of seditious conspiracy on January 6th

These are the most aggressive charges filed by the Justice Department against the Proud Boys, and are the first prosecutors’ allegations the group has tried to forcefully oppose the presidential handover of power.

Tarrio and his co-defendants previously pleaded not guilty to a previous list of charges.

The new indictment adds new details to what Proud Boys leaders said on January 6, 2021. Prosecutors accuse the five defendants of working together to intimidate members of Congress and law enforcement and make them flee. , thus preventing them from fulfilling their official functions.

Prosecutors unveiled Tarrio’s January 6 text messages, which appear to compare the attack on the U.S. Capitol with “The Winter Palace,” the home of the Russian emperor, who was stormed during the Revolution. Russian in 1917. In the texts, Tarrio seems to comment on the evacuation of the Congress from the chambers, without being able to certify the vote of the Electoral College.

An unnamed person sends a text message to Tarrio, “Friend. Have we just influenced the story?” which prompted Tarrio to respond, “Let’s see how this works first,” before the Senate resumes certification of the presidential vote. The unnamed person writes, “They have to certify today! Or it’s invalid.”

The four men charged alongside Tarrio in the indictment are Ethan Nordean, the Proud Boys’ “sergeant-at-arms” and president of their local chapter; Joseph Biggs, a self-proclaimed organizer of Proud Boys events; Zachary Rehl, who directs the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys; and Dominic Pezzola, a proud New Yorker named Spaz.

All five were previously charged with less serious conspiracy charges. Defendants are due to appear in court later this week.

Nordean, Rehl, Pezzola and Biggs’ lawyers have held in court that their clients had no plans when they walked to the Capitol on January 6, while Tarrio’s lawyers have stressed that his client left Washington on January 5 after being arrested for burning the Black of a church. Lives Matter banner in December 2020.

The incident comes after Charles Donohoe, a proud North Carolina boy, pleaded guilty in April and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. He was not named on Monday’s indictment. The Justice Department has filed another case of seditious conspiracy, the most serious allegation arising from the attack on the Capitol, against the leaders of the Oath Keepers, who are accused of extensively planning and preparing for the January 6 violence. Prosecutors have already obtained three convictions for seditious conspiracy in this case.

This story was updated on Monday with additional information.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.

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