Proud Boys Turn on Donald Trump

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday, during the closing arguments in the seditious conspiracy trial, the attorneys for the Proud Boys blamed the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, on former President Donald Trump.

An attorney for Enrique Tarrio, the head of the Proud Boys, stated that federal prosecutors were attempting to make his client a “scapegoat for Donald J. Trump and for those in power.” A lawyer for Joe Biggs also claimed that the defendants had only come to Washington because their “commander-in-chief” had called for them to “be wild.” This is a reference to Trump’s infamous tweet on Dec. 19, 2020 when he had called on his supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6.

Norm Pattis, another one of Biggs’s lawyers, also argued that Trump had told them to “‘Be there, it’s going to be wild,’” which is why they were there. Pattis further added that “their commander-in-chief sold them a lie.”

Tarrio, Biggs, and fellow Proud Boys Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola, and Zach Rehl each face at least nine counts, including seditious conspiracy, a charge that has barely been used since the Civil War era. The trial has been underway for over three months, with jury selection having started in December 2022.

On Monday, during the closing arguments, the government’s lawyers argued that the Proud Boys had wanted to be “Donald Trump’s army” and were “thirsting for violence and organizing for action” prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

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