Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Proud Boys were ready for all-out war before January 6, prosecutors argue

Proud Boys were ready for all-out war before January 6, prosecutors argue


Proud Boys were ready for all-out war before January 6, prosecutors argue

Ready for "all-out war", leaders of the far-right Proud Boys viewed themselves as foot soldiers for Donald Trump as he clung to power after the 2020 election, a prosecutor said on Monday at the close of a historic trial over the January 6 Capitol attack.

After more than three months of testimony, jurors began hearing closing arguments in the seditious conspiracy case accusing the former Proud Boys national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, and four lieutenants of plotting to forcibly stop the transfer of power.

The Proud Boys were "lined up behind Donald Trump and willing to commit violence on his behalf", prosecutor Conor Mulroe said. "These defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump's army, fighting to keep their preferred leader in power no matter what the law or the courts had to say about it."

The justice department has worked to link the violence of 6 January 2021 to Trump. Prosecutors have repeatedly shown a video clip of Trump telling the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" during his first debate with Joe Biden.

Tarrio is one of the top targets of the Capitol attack investigation. He wasn't in Washington but is accused of orchestrating it from afar. Defense attorneys say there is no evidence of a conspiracy or a plan to attack the Capitol.

Nicholas Smith, an attorney for the former Proud Boys chapter leader Ethan Nordean, said prosecutors built their case on "misdirection and innuendo", accusing them of repeatedly playing the clip of Trump to manipulate jurors.

"Does that prove some conspiracy by the men here?" Smith asked. "We all know it doesn't."

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