Tag: proud boys
Proud Boys

Judge Orders Million-Dollar Fine For Proud Boys In Black Church Attack

A Washington, D.C. judge has ordered a group of Proud Boys members to pay over $1 million for their role in destroying property belonging to a well-known, majority-Black, Washington, D.C., church in 2020, CNN reports.

This comes after, in May, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Lt. Shane Lamond was indicted on four federal criminal charges, when Justice Department prosecutors alleged "that Lamond shared police information with" Proud Boys member Enrique Tarrio "and tipped him off about the case against him: the one in which he was arrested for his part in burning a Black Lives Matter sign that had been stolen from" the DC-based Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Judge Neal E. Kravitz's decision also comes nearly two months after Tarrio and fellow member, Joseph R. Biggs, were included in the group of five men found guilty of seditious conspiracy by a D.C. jury for their participation in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

Per CNN, according to the order, "The church sought compensatory damages as part of the civil suit, in part to repair the sign and increase security in the wake of the attack and due to 'ongoing threats.'"

After the decision, Arthur Ago, the attorney representing the church, said, "The ultimate goal of this lawsuit was not monetary windfall, but to stop the Proud Boys from being able to act with impunity, without fear of consequences for their actions. And that's exactly what we accomplished."

Kravitz noted in his order, according to the report, "on December 12, 2020, several people in Proud Boys regalia 'leaped over Metropolitan AME's fence, entered the church's property, and went directly to the Black Lives Matter sign," adding, "They then broke the zip ties that held the sign in place, tore down the sign, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it while loudly celebrating. Many others then jumped over the fence onto the church's property and joined in the celebration of the sign's destruction."

Noting this is not the first act of terror the Proud Boys committed, the judge added that they have "incited and committed acts of violence against members of Black and African American communities across the country," emphasizing, "They also have victimized women, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, and other historically marginalized people."

Describing the attack as "highly orchestrated" and "hateful and overtly racist conduct," Kravitz emphasized, "For generations, the leaders of Metropolitan AME and the members of its congregation have vocally and publicly supported movements for civil rights and racial justice," noting, "Church leaders and congregants view supporting the Black Lives Matter movement as a continuation of the church's mission of advocacy for civil rights and racial justice."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Proud Boys Seek To Subpoena Trump's Testimony At Sedition Trial

Proud Boys Seek To Subpoena Trump's Testimony At Sedition Trial

Attorneys for leaders of the Proud Boys — the violent extremist group accused of conspiring to hinder the transfer of presidential power in January 2021 — said they plan to subpoena former President Donald Trump to appear as a witness in their ongoing sedition trial.

Norm Pattis, an attorney for 37-year-old Proud Boys member Joseph Biggs, announced Thursday that the defendants — Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, Dominic Pezzola, and Biggs, all of whom were charged with seditious conspiracy — will contact “the government for assistance in serving Mr. Trump."

Prosecutors in the trial, which began last month, have accused the defendants of leading the charge on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, to keep the defated president in power, an unprecedented breach that left seven dead and about 150 law enforcement officers injured.

Defense attorneys have argued that it was not the Proud Boys but Trump who claimed that the 2020 election was stolen, asked supporters to gather at the Capitol on January 6, and “unleashed the mob” on lawmakers certifying Electoral College votes that day.

“At all times relevant, Trump was President of the United States, and it’s the government’s obligation to produce him,” Pattis said in court Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

It remains unclear what the defendants hope to learn from Trump, who has continued to insist that the 2020 election was rigged against him despite the availability of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Multiple outlets have noted that the move to compel Trump’s testimony is a long shot, as the ex-president — who fought a subpoena for testimony from the House’s January 6 committee — will almost certainly try to derail the Proud Boys' demand with executive privilege claims or, if that fails, assertjons of his Fifth Amendment right.

The defense attorneys drafted the subpoena over the weekend, but U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, the jurist overseeing the case, would have to rule Trump’s testimony admissible before the former president could be served.

“We’re not going to be seeing testimony from the former president,” Lisa Kern Griffin, a law professor at Duke University, told the Post.

Other January 6 defendants have sought to compel Trump to appear in court, but none has succeeded. Such an effort would be time-consuming and bogged down by extensive litigation.

Last year, a federal court judge denied a January 6 defendant’s request to force Trump and his allies to the witness stand to testify.

Judge Reggie B. Walton told the defendant, Ohio exterminator Dustin Thompson, who testified he stormed the Capitol on Trump’s orders, to make do with publicly accessible video and audio recordings of Trump speaking on or before January 6, as opposed to subpoenaing him, reported the Times.

Unlike the others, however, “the Proud Boys may have the clearest case, given Trump’s explicit reference to the group during the debate and the group’s centrality to the riot that unfolded on January 6,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney wrote Thursday.

Trump has made direct references to the group. During the September 2020 presidential debate, Trump, responding to Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace, told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

In an opening statement last month, Sabino Jauregui, an attorney for Tarrio, blasted the U.S. government for making Tarrio its scapegoat because it was “too hard to blame Trump, too hard to bring him to the witness stand with his army of lawyers.”

“Instead, they go for the easy target. They go for Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys,” Jauregui said. “If the government takes down Enrique Tarrio, the government takes down the whole Proud Boys organization.”

Prosecutors have since disagreed, arguing — and presenting reams of evidence to the jury they said showed — that the Proud Boys “directed, mobilized and led” the January 6 rioters into the Capitol, breaching Capitol law enforcement barricades to facilitate the unauthorized entry.

Tarrio, a longtime national chairman of the male-only group, was the leader of over 100 Proud Boys, including Biggs, Nordean, and Rehl, who converged on the Washington Monument on January 6. From there they traveled to the Capitol, prosecutors alleged, according to USA Today.

Investigations have revealed deep ties between Tarrio, other right-wing extremist groups, and several Trump allies, including convicted pro-Trump Republican strategist Roger Stone, for whom the Proud Boys have acted as bodyguards.

On Wednesday, prosecutors presented to jurors a string of messages that showed Tarrio receiving internal law enforcement information — including a heads-up of his impending arrest — from a Metropolitan Police lieutenant, Shane Lammond, for weeks before January 6, the Guardianreported Thursday.

Final Report On January 6 Coup Is The Chronicle Of A Spoiled Brat

Final Report On January 6 Coup Is The Chronicle Of A Spoiled Brat

This is free to all subscribers. To receive both my paid and free columns on American politics, the Ukraine war, and more, please consider becoming a paid subscriber to my Substack columns here.

It’s there in one long regurgitation of the last six years this country has endured: All the bile, glistening with half-chewed chunks of Big Macs bathed in the chemical-y brown residue of Diet Cokes. It’s as if someone sat down to write a Robert Caro-ish history of the Trump Era and discovered it wasn’t necessary to go back to the beginning, to the descent down the escalator cheered on by screaming “fans” hired from an extras agency and the hint of what was to come with the denunciation of Mexican immigrants as “drug dealers and rapists” and the Muslim ban and the “great big beautiful wall” which would never be completed.

This is the chronicle of the petulant ravings of the Man-child Denied – Donald Trump being told “no” for perhaps the first time in his life on November 3, 2020, and the most painful thing of all was that “no” came in the form of seven million votes he didn’t get, each one of them from those nasty people he had looked down on from his gold-plated mansion in the sky in Trump Tower for all those years – the ill-dressed and the well-dressed; the ill-coiffed and the expensively-coiffed; the un-tanned and the tanned; the ones who never got “on the list” and the ones who did get past the velvet ropes at the door of Studio 54. The worst thing of all was that he could get himself into all the nouveau-riche glitter palaces, but it was never enough because it wasn’t a mark that he truly belonged. That was the source of all his resentment.

Worst of all was the rejection for decades by the exclusive clubs in Manhattan that he tap-tap-tapped on the doors of – the Union League, the Metropolitan, the Century Association, The Harmonie Club – the stuffy, WASPy, wood-paneled inner sanctums of Those Who Mattered. They wouldn’t accept him, so he started clubs of his own – golf clubs and Mar-a-Lago – with rules that he set and he understood: You were accepted when your check cleared.

And then he did what none of those rankling WASPs could – he got himself elected president and moved into the White House, the one place in America where -- he thought -- no one would ever say no to him again. From his chair in the Oval Office, he could have it all – the meetings with powerful leaders of countries he admired like Russia and Saudi Arabia and Turkey and even little Belarus. He wanted a tax cut; he got a tax cut. He wanted a tough border policy; he got a tough border policy that ripped children from parents’ arms and locked them in cages and made the point he always made at the Trump Organization but could now make on a global stage: I’m in charge here, and if I say I want it, you goddamn make it happen. Let’s see the Union League Club get Sergey Lavrov to come for lunch, huh? Let’s see the Metropolitan hang a “beautiful” letter from Kim Jong Un on their cherrywood wall!

It was glorious for nearly four years, and then on November 3, 2020, it was over. They said “no” and he wouldn’t take it anymore than he would take the “no” from the Union League Club. They say I lost the election? Fuck that. I’ll hold my own election, and I’ll fix this one so I can’t lose.

That’s where the final report of the House Select Committee takes up the story. What happened when Donald Trump was told “no?” Where were the edges of his tantrum? Who answered his calls and his text messages and his tweets and enabled his stomping and shouting and fit-throwing attempts to re-do the election and win it this time?

The final report reads like a metaphorical replay of the last six years. He did all the stuff he had been doing for years: he told lie after lie after lie until he compiled so many they became The Big Lie, a gargantuan pile of lies so deep and so wide nobody could see over or around them. Just as he had called President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and asked him “for a favor” that was bald-faced extortion, he made call after call after call to Republican elected officials around the country and asked them “to find 11,780 votes,” or they would face legal consequences, and if that wouldn’t work, he would turn his MAGA mob on them and they would be defeated the next time they ran for office.

He called them and asked for the “favor” of holding a special session of their legislatures so they could appoint new slates of electors, Trump electors, and overturn the results of the election in their states. And when that didn’t work, he asked them to cobble together fake slates of electors and send them to the National Archives so he could use them to fuck up the certification of electoral ballots on January 6. And when that didn’t work, he tweeted to his MAGA base and asked them to come to Washington, D.C. on that date and “be wild” and fuck up the Capitol so the certification would stop and the whole thing would be thrown into such a panic, they’d just give up and ask him to come back from his political death and be president for them again.

He had spent a lifetime before he came down that escalator in July of 2015 violating one law after another: only fools and little people paid their taxes. Not Donald “I’m Being Audited” Trump. Only fools and little people paid their bills on time. Not Donald “Sue Me” Trump. Only fools and little people paid back the money people loaned them. Not Donald “I Make the Bankruptcy Laws Work For Me” Trump. Only fools and little people told the truth about how many stories were in the buildings they put up and the number of condos they sold. Not Donald “The Number is Whatever I Say It Is” Trump.

Only fools and little people accepted the will of the people, the fools and little people who voted against Donald “I’m Not a Loser” Trump. Only fools and little people took “no” for an answer. Not Donald “Frankly, We Won This Election” Trump.

In going through all the ways that Trump conspired to overturn the election of 2020, it’s as if the House Select Committee was retelling the Trump story as it had already happened before, with all the law-breaking and exaggeration and lying and bragging and scowling and faking everything from the top of his wispy coif to the corset holding in his expansive belly to the business-black-lace-ups he put on every morning as if to prove to his daddy that he was actually a man. Nothing he said about himself – and all he talked about was himself – was true. He wasn’t worth 10 billion dollars. He wasn’t a successful businessman. He didn’t pay his taxes. His apartment in Trump Towers wasn’t the biggest, most expensive apartment in New York City. Trump University didn’t teach you all the tricks of the trade he had learned over the years, except perhaps one: it was a complete scam.

Nothing he said before and especially after November 3, 2020, was true. There weren’t any voting machines that “flipped votes from Trump to Biden.” Hugo Chavez didn’t come back from the dead to fix the election for Biden. There weren’t any “Chinese ballots” flown in to serve as votes for Biden. There weren’t any “suitcases full of votes for Biden” in the counting center in Atlanta on election eve. There weren’t any immigrants bussed in to vote for Biden and the Democrats – not “thousands of them,” as he contended.

Everyone today, from the most powerful front page in the world at the New York Times to lowly Substack columns, is mining the final report for nuggets of new information. There is some, of course – the stuff about Cassidy Hutchinson being encouraged by her lawyer to perjure herself is new. There are some new details about Trump, Giuliani, and Meadows being involved early-on in the fake elector plot, and there are some fairly strong hints, but so far only hints, that Homburg-wearing swinger Roger Stone was the contact man between Trump and the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, and that all of them knew from the get-go that the “march” on the Capitol was going to be violent because it had been planned that way from the day Trump issued his “be wild!” tweet.

Rather than reacting to the news that there would be violence associated with his January 6 rally and trying to prevent it, Trump wallowed in it, enabling the militia groups and right-wing bloggers and the likes of Steve Bannon and Alex Jones and the rest of his cast of professional troublemakers, each of whom was one of the “go get’ em boys…I’ll be right behind you” variety of tough guy.

But the truly astounding thing about the report is how familiar it all is. Much of the information it contains has seen the light of day before, in newspaper reports, on cable news shows, and of course from Trump himself, who wasn’t exactly shy about what he was doing throughout the time between his loss of the election and his MAGA minions storming the Capitol. Especially familiar is how soaked the committee narrative is with Trump’s grudges and resentments and bitterness and jealousy and incompetence and cruelty and everlasting instinct for revenge.

By compiling its report on Trump and the insurrection in narrative form, the House Select Committee has done the favor of reminding us that this is who he was from the very beginning. He didn’t just commit insurrection on January 6, 2021. He committed insurrection the day he descended the escalator and hasn’t stopped yet. They should have illustrated the front page of the report with a big piece of yellow crime scene tape across the title. It’s going to take everything the Department of Justice can bring to bear to stop him long enough to indict him and put him on trial.

That’s the big take-away from the committee’s final report. Donald Trump is a crime in progress.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

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Roger Stone Shrieks As January 6 Panel Scrutinizes Seditious Conduct

Roger Stone Shrieks As January 6 Panel Scrutinizes Seditious Conduct

The House Select Committee emerged from its summer hiatus and saw out its ninth — and possibly last — hearing in a rather dramatic fashion, voting to subpoena former President Trump and calling the bluff of his longtime ally, Roger Stone.

Some three weeks ago, the select committee teased more stunning revelations about Stone after reports emerged that its investigators had traveled to Denmark to review crucial footage recorded by a Danish film crew that shadowed the Republican operative for two years, including on January 6, 2021.

Stone dismissed the reported trip as a wild goose chase that would turn up “no evidence of wrongdoing.” However, the committee delivered on its promise, airing in its high-profile Thursday hearing a previously unseen video of Stone that paints a clearer picture of his role in the January 6 attack.

In the first video clip, Stone is seen spelling out plans, in a blaze of obscenity, to hijack the election if Trump lost.

“Let’s just hope we’re celebrating,” Stone said in a video clip. "I really do suspect [the 2020 election results] will still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. No, we won; fuck you."

In another clip, Stone cheered the prospect of post-election violence, saying, “I say fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence. We'll have to start smashing pumpkins, if you know what I mean."

While the select committee aired the clip to the American public, Stone had a meltdown on Telegram, excoriating the congressional panel for its shocking exposé.

“In 2000, when the Bush v. Gore election was still in doubt James A. Baker III urged Bush to claim victory, which he did and was hailed as a genius,” Stone ranted. “When I said Trump should do the same thing (in public but not to either Trump or anyone around him) and I am accused of criminal conduct. Total BS.”

According to The Daily Beast, Stone attempted to mock the select committee by posting the photo of an empty hamburger bun, implying its hearing was nothing more than a “nothing burger.”

“All I’ve seen in today’s Jan 6 Committee is guilt by association,” he declared. “The fact that I know or have met someone is most certainly not evidence of criminal conspiracy. If the committee has actual proof and content of communication between me and any one charged with a crime, they should produce it.”

The select committee had produced such evidence of communication in its previous hearings and did so again on Thursday in a brutal rebuke of Stone, whom Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) described as “a political operative with a reputation for dirty tricks.”

“In November 2019 he was convicted of lying to Congress and other crimes and sentenced to more than three years in prison… Mr. Trump pardoned Roger Stone on 23 December 2020,” Lofgren added.

The select committee reiterated Stone’s ties to right-wing militias Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, several members of which had pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy charges concerning the January 6 insurrection.

The FBI disclosed in May that the longtime Trump confidante had communicated with the Oath Keepers in the days leading up to January 6, and a contingent of the armed members of the Oath Keepers was seen with Stone on January 6, acting as his security team.

The California Democrat, in a rather somber tone, also spoke of Stone’s inner-circle efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.

Stone, Lofgren said, “apparently knew of Mr. Trump’s intentions” to reject the election results in the event of his loss and pitch to the then-president the sinister idea to appoint a special counsel to “ensure those who are attempting to steal the 2020 election through voter fraud are charged and convicted and to ensure Donald Trump continues as our president”

Incensed by the trove of evidence laid out by the select committee, some of which were obtained from the film crew, “The Ark,” led by Danish filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen, Stone threatened to take his grievances, and Guldbrandsen, to court.

“Danish filmmaker Christoff Guldbranson [SIC] looks quite unhealthy having put on quite a bit of weight,” Stones wrote on Telegram, displaying a knack for personal insults characteristic of the Republican party.

“He's already had one heart attack and he's going to have another one when I win a $25 million judgment against him for defamation. You can't just accuse people of crimes in the United States without actual evidence. In various media interviews he has accused me of crimes which his documentary do [SIC] not prove. He will soon be able to tell it to a Florida judge,” Stone added.