Former Proud Boys head Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and three other members of the extremist group were found guilty Thursday of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, reports the Washington Post. A jury deliberated for seven days before finding Tarrio, 29, and the others guilty on 31 of 46 counts. The jury handed down not guilty verdicts on four counts and returned to deliberate on a remaining 11 counts. The result was another victory for the Justice Department in the latest of three seditious conspiracy trials held after what it called a historic act of domestic terrorism.
Over nearly 15 weeks of trial, prosecutors alleged that the Proud Boys saw themselves as Trump’s “army.” Inspired by his appeal to “stand by” during a September 2020 presidential debate and mobilized by his December 2020 call for a “wild” protest when Congress met to certify the election, prosecutors said the men sought to keep Trump in power through violence. Defense attorneys blamed the former president, saying prosecutors made the five defendants scapegoats for an unplanned riot triggered by Trump’s incitement of angry supporters. The jury, which began hearing testimony in January, deliberated about 30 hours over seven days. Tarrio, 29, and the others were charged in a 10-count indictment. The charges included conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transition of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election, conspiring to obstruct Congress’s confirmation of the election result, and actually obstructing the joint session of Congress.