Proud Boys chapter leader pleads guilty in US Capitol attack

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

An unidentified man wearing tactical gear and Proud Boy insignia while carrying a radio transmitter in his vest in Washington, D.C.. hours before the January 6 attack.
Image: Elvert Barnes.

On Friday, leader of the North Carolina chapter of the Proud Boys organization Charles Donohoe pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct the United States Congress and assault of an officer of the law, both felonies, on January 6, 2021.

Donohoe's plea was part of a bargain in which he also agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors' investigations of the Proud Boys and its leadership. Other alleged leaders, including national chairman Enrique Tarrio, have entered not guilty pleas on charges of seditious conspiracy. According to prosecutors, they were members of an elite group of leaders called the "Ministry of Self Defense" and hand-picked by Tarrio.

Prosecutors' filings also said Donohoe supplied the Proud Boys with radio transmitters, so they could communicate before and during the 2021 attack on the Capitol. Tarrio was arrested two days before the riot. Immediately after Tarrio's arrest, Donohoe deleted the group's messages on the Telegram communication platform and messaged that plans might be compromised. "Well at least they won't get our boots on the ground plan because we are one step ahead of them," he wrote in a follow-up.

Donohoe reportedly never entered the Capitol, even though he was in the first wave of people descending upon the building, as he was overcome by pepper spray. Nevertheless, his assault charges stemmed from throwing two water bottles at Capitol Police officers. He allegedly also sent messages stating: "We stormed the capitol unarmed … we took it over."

The assault on the Capitol took place while Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden. The Proud Boys were in favor of a second term for former president Donald Trump.


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