AP

Proud Boys riot trial delayed due to committee hearings

Jun 22, 2022, 11:24 AM | Updated: 9:30 pm

A federal judge agreed on Wednesday to postpone a trial for the former leader of the Proud Boys and other members of the extremist group charged with attacking the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

U..S. District Judge Timothy Kelly postponed the start of the trial from Aug. 8 to Dec. 12 after attorneys for several of the men argued that their clients couldn’t get a fair trial by an impartial jury in the midst of televised hearings by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. They’re also waiting for the committee to share documents that could become trial evidence.

Former Proud Boys national chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and four other men are charged with seditious conspiracy for what authorities say was a plot to forcibly oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

Tarrio, 38, of Miami, and his co-defendants — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola — have been in federal custody for months.

Their trial is expected to last four to six weeks, stretching into next year.

Biggs, Pezzola and Rehl asked for the trial to be postponed. Biggs’ lawyer, J. Daniel Hull, noted that the House committee isn’t expected to release hundreds of deposition and interview transcripts until after an August trial would have started.

“The transcripts are must-haves for trial preparation,” Hull wrote.

Justice Department prosecutors consented to the delay. They said the House committee’s failure to share the deposition and interview transcripts is also hampering their ability to investigate and prosecute Jan. 6 defendants.

Tarrio was opposed to delaying the trial.

“Tarrio believes that an impartial jury will never be achieved in Washington, D.C., whether the trial is in August, December, or next year,” his lawyers wrote.

Nordean’s attorneys objected to postponing the trial for months while keeping Proud Boys leaders locked up in pretrial detention.

Police arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church during a protest in December 2020. Tarrio wasn’t in Washington when the riot erupted, but authorities say he helped put into motion the violence that disrupted Congress from certifying Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

The seditious conspiracy indictment alleges that the Proud Boys held meetings and communicated over encrypted messages to plan for the attack in the days leading up to Jan. 6. On the day of the riot, Proud Boys members carried out a coordinated plot to storm past police barricades and attack the building with a mob of Trump supporters, the indictment says.

Nordean, 31, of Auburn, Washington, was a Proud Boys chapter president. Biggs, 38, of Ormond Beach, Florida, was a self-described Proud Boys organizer. Rehl, 36, was president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia. Pezzola, 44, was a Proud Boys member from Rochester, New York.

Two other Proud Boys members — Matthew Greene, of Syracuse, New York, and Charles Donohoe, of Kernersville, North Carolina — have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department.

Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys in 2016, sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it a hate group. Proud Boys members call it a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists.” They have frequently brawled with antifascist activists at rallies and protests.

Approximately 40 Proud Boys leaders, members or associates have been charged in the Jan. 6 siege. More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot.

Also on Wednesday, prosecutors in the seditious conspiracy case against members of another extremist group — the Oath Keepers — asked the judge to look into whether the payment of at least some of the defense lawyers by an organization controlled by lawyer Sidney Powell runs afoul of court rules.

Prosecutors pointed to articles from Mother Jones and BuzzFeed that said Powell’s group, Defending the Republic, is paying some defense attorneys’ fees. Powell was part of Trump’s legal team that pushed unfounded conspiracy theories alleging voter fraud in an effort to keep the Republican president in office following the 2020 election.

Prosecutors say such an arrangement may violate a rule that says lawyers shouldn’t accept money for representing a client from anyone other than the client unless three conditions are met, including that “there is no interference with the lawyer’s independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship.”

____

Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report from Boston.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Global technology outage causes chaos on Friday morning...

Associated Press

Faulty software update causes havoc worldwide for airlines, hospitals and governments

A global technology outage grounded flights, knocked banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air on Friday morning.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives during the second day of th...

Associated Press

Donald Trump celebrated by former rivals at Republican National Convention

Former president Donald Trump was celebrated at the Republican National Convention by former rivals, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

4 days ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

7 days ago

FILE - Dr. Ruth Westheimer participates in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" panel during the Hulu presentation at...

Associated Press

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, has died

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author, has died.

7 days ago

Biden proposes rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat...

Associated Press

Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer.

18 days ago

FILE - Rori Chang, of Glendale, Ariz., walks with her dog Ava as they leave the Maricopa Country An...

Associated Press

Here are ways that can help ease dogs’ July Fourth dread

Those with furry, four-legged family members will be searching for solutions to the Fourth of July anxiety that fireworks bring.

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Proud Boys riot trial delayed due to committee hearings