- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
A defense attorney argued on Tuesday at the close of a landmark trial over the January 6 insurrection that the US justice department is making the Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio a scapegoat for Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Tarrio and four lieutenants are charged with seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors say was a plot to stop the transfer of presidential power from Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.
Seditious conspiracy, a rarely used charge, carries a prison term of up to 20 years.
Trump has denied inciting violence on January 6 and has argued that he was permitted by the first amendment to challenge his loss to Biden. The former president faces several civil lawsuits over the riot and a special counsel is overseeing investigations into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election.
Tarrio, a Miami resident, is on trial with Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola. Nordean, of Auburn, Washington, was a Proud Boys chapter president. Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, was a self-described organizer. Rehl was president of a chapter in Philadelphia. Pezzola was a member from Rochester, New York.
Attorneys for Nordean and Rehl gave closing arguments on Monday.
Tarrio is accused of orchestrating the attack from afar. Police arrested him two days before the riot on charges that he burned a church banner during an earlier march. A judge ordered him to leave Washington after his arrest.
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