WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Enrique Tarrio, a former leader of the far-right Proud Boys, and four other ringleaders have led a coordinated attack on “the heart of our democracy” in a desperate bid to keep Donald Trump in the White House, a report says. said federal prosecutors at the start of his seditious conspiracy trial on Thursday.
The jury returned a verdict on January 6, 2021, in the U.S. The hearing comes more than two years after prosecutors joined a pro-Trump mob in storming the House of Congress.
Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough said the Proud Boys knew that Trump’s hopes of a second term in office were fading fast as Jan. 6 approached. So the group’s leaders assembled a “fighting force” to stop the transfer of power to Joe Biden, McCullough said. The prosecutor said that Tarrio viewed the Biden presidency as a “threat to the existence of the Proud Boys”.
Proud Boys leaders recruit new members “to help them achieve their goals,” McCullough said. On January 6, they met at a designated location and began walking toward the Capitol before Trump finished his speech.
The trial comes on the heels of the conviction for seditious conspiracy of two leaders of the Oath Keepers, another far-right group. The head of the organization, Stewart Rhodes, and the group’s Florida leader, Kelly Meigs, were convicted of conspiring to prevent the transfer of presidential power. Three other Oath Keepers members were acquitted of the charge, but convicted of other felonies.
The case against Tarrio and four of his associates is one of the most significant since the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The trial will take an in-depth look at a group that has become an influential force in mainstream Republican politics.