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Proud Boys demonstration
Proud Boys demonstration

Although the Proud Boys’ Enrique Tarrio wasn’t physically present in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 — he was in South Florida, where he lives — he is facing a conspiracy charge for, federal prosecutors allege, conspiring with others to obstruct an official government proceeding on the day the U.S. Capitol Building was attacked. And according to New York Times reporter Alan Feuer, a nine-page document that was found in Tarrio’s possession “contained a detailed plan” to attack other buildings as well that day.

“The document, titled ‘1776 Returns,’ was cited by prosecutors last week in charging the far-right leader, Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys extremist group, with conspiracy,” Feuer reports in an article published on March 14. “The indictment of Mr. Tarrio described the document in general terms, but the people familiar with it added substantial new details about the scope and complexity of the plan it set out for directing an effort to occupy six House and Senate office buildings and the Supreme Court last January 6.”

Feuer continues, “The document does not specifically mention an attack on the Capitol Building itself. But in targeting high-profile government buildings in the immediate area and in the detailed timeline it set out, the plan closely resembles what actually unfolded when the Capitol was stormed by a pro-Trump mob intent on disrupting congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.”

Feuer adds, however, that “many questions remain” about the document, including “who wrote it” and how it “made its way to Mr. Tarrio.”

“Prosecutors have not accused Mr. Tarrio of using the document to guide the actions of the Proud Boys who played a central role in the Capitol attack,” Feuer notes. “Nor do the charges against him offer any evidence that he shared the document with his five co-defendants: Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe and Dominic Pezzola. But the document could help explain why prosecutors chose to charge Mr. Tarrio with conspiracy, even though he was not at the Capitol during the attack.”

According to Feuer, the document has a wealth of details.

“Broken into five parts — Infiltrate, Execution, Distract, Occupy and Sit-In — the nine-page document recommends recruiting at least 50 people to enter each of the seven government buildings and advises protesters to appear ‘unsuspecting’ and to ‘not look tactical,’ the people familiar with it said,” Feuer reports. “After ensuring that crowds at the buildings are ‘full and ready to go,’ the document suggests that ‘leads and seconds’ should enter and open doors for others to go in, ‘causing trouble’ to distract security guards, if necessary.”

Feuer continues, “Should the crowds fail to gain entrance to the buildings quickly, the document suggests pulling fire alarms at nearby stores, hotels and museums to further distract guards or the police, the people said. It then says protesters should occupy the buildings and conduct sit-ins, even recommending slogans for people to chant, like ‘We the people’ and ‘No Trump, No America.’ The document also makes suggestions for the days leading up to January 6, the people said, advising protesters to ‘scope out’ road closures near the seven target buildings.”

Tarrio is due to appear in federal court on Tuesday, March 15 for a hearing on his bail.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet


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