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Four J6 Defendants Convicted of ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ to Keep Trump in Power After 2020 Election

A federal jury in Washington, D.C. convicted four members of the Proud Boys, including former leader Enrique Tarrio, of seditious conspiracy for their role in the January 6th Capitol attack.

The defendants were charged with plotting to keep former President Donald Trump in power after the contested 2020 election. The jury failed to reach a decision on the sedition charge for defendant Dominic Pezzola, although he was convicted of other serious felonies.

The prosecution was unable to prove any coordination between Donald Trump and the extremist group, which breached the Capitol building without carrying firearms. No explanation was given for how the group planned on overturning the U.S. government and retaining power.

Tarrio, Pezzola and the other defendants — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl — will now await sentencing.

The sedition charge is rarely used and harks back to the Union’s efforts to protect the federal government against secessionist rebels during the Civil War.  The trial was the last of three major sedition cases that federal prosecutors brought against key figures in the Capitol attack.

The sedition trial lasted for over three months and was marked by frequent delays, strained relationships between the defense and prosecution, and a series of rulings by the presiding judge, Timothy J. Kelly, that challenged the limits of conspiracy law.

Judge Kelly’s decisions permitted prosecutors to present incriminating evidence about the violent conduct and confrontational rhetoric of Proud Boys members who had only minimal ties to the five defendants. The rulings also enabled jurors to convict for conspiracy, even if they found that there was no explicit plan to disrupt the election certification, but rather an implicit agreement to do so.

Julie Kelly of American Greatness lambasted the verdict.

The Proud Boys, who have been fighting on the streets since 2017, became a central focus of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Jan. 6 within days of the attack. Enrique Tarrio is a former F.B.I. informant.

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.