A member of the inner circle of longtime Proud Boys leader Henry "Enrique" Tarrio agreed to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and to cooperate with the Justice Department against his compatriots in the far-right group that is accused of mobilizing violence to prevent the inauguration of Joe Biden, the Washington Post reports. Jeremy Bertino, 43, of Belmont, N.C, a lieutenant to Tarrio, is the first from the Proud Boys to plead guilty to the historically rare charge. The defendants from the Proud Boys, a group with ties to influential Donald Trump supporters Roger Stone and Alex Jones, are set to face trial in December.
The plea came during the separate trial of key members of the Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges, where on Thursday a member of the group testified that he was so disturbed by the plots he heard from the militia's leader Stewart Rhodes that he recorded the conversation and ultimately called the FBI, the New York Times reports. Rhodes and four other Oath Keepers are the first of nearly 900 people charged in connection with the Capitol attack to face trial on sedition charges, the most serious charge that prosecutors have brought in the sprawling investigation. One of the oddities of the Oath Keepers trial, which opened on Monday, is that few of the facts presented so far are in dispute. That has allowed the defense and prosecution to effectively set aside the question about what the group did on Jan. 6 and the days leading up to it and focus instead on the reasons that they did it. Lawyers for the Oath Keepers have told the jury that their clients never had a plan to use violence at the Capitol but instead took measures to prepare for violence from antifa, including the creation of an armed “quick reaction force” staged outside Washington in hotel rooms in Virginia.