Charles Donohoe, leader of the Proud Boys, agrees to testify against others during Capitol riots on Jan. 6



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A North Carolina man who was one of the leaders of the far-right Proud Boys when they attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, pleaded guilty Friday to two felonies with a minimum sentence of nearly six years in prison, but agreed to join forces. to work against his co-defendants in the hope of getting a lighter sentence.

Court records filed Friday show that he has already provided significant insight into the group’s plans and their intention to disrupt confirmation of the congressional election vote.

Charles Donohoe, 34, of Kernersville, NC, admitted to both organizing the pro-Trump attack on Congress and attacking law enforcement officers. Donohoe is the first of six Proud Boys leaders, including former president Enrique Tarrio, to admit both staged an attack on Congress and attacked law enforcement.

Proud Boy Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor in Capitol Riots

Tarrio pleaded not guilty earlier this week to charges of conspiracy to obstruct official proceedings and six other crimes. He and six other defendants have been jailed until trial.

Those other defendants include Donohoe, who has been in prison since March last year. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct official proceedings and assault of police officers.

In December 2020, according to court documents filed Friday, Tarrio appointed Donohue as one of the members of the “Department of Self-Defense”, a leadership group within the Proud Boys preparing for January 6.

In a newly filed insult, prosecutors said that “Donohoe understood that the purpose of the January 6, 2021 meeting in Washington, DC, was to stop the certification of the vote of the Electoral College.” The leadership of the “MOSD” was divided into a three-member “marketing” council, to recruit more members, and an “operation” group. Donohoe was part of the marketing group, the insult says, and soon expanded to at least 65 members.

As early as Jan. 4, prosecutors said, “Donohoe was aware that members of the MOSD leadership were discussing the possibility of storming the Capitol. “Donohoe understood that storming the Capitol would be illegal.”

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Donohoe was not planning to be in DC on Jan. 6, the statement of insult says. But after Tarrio was arrested on January 4, 2021, for burning a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a DC church, Donohoe decided to travel to Washington because he “believed Tarrio’s arrest could create a leadership gap for the MOSD,” according to the filing, which is also signed by Donohoe.

On the morning of January 6, the Proud Boys marched away from the Ellipse before President Donald Trump began his speech, and did not return. Instead, they went to the Capitol shortly after 10 a.m., the insult says, and Donohoe posted that his group counted “200-300 PBs.” Co-defendants Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs gathered the group, the statement says, and “Donohoe understood that Nordean and Biggs were looking for an opportunity to storm the Capitol.”

By 1 p.m., the Proud Boys were ordered to “push in!” Donohoe reposted the message to other group leaders. Donohoe admitted to throwing two water bottles at police to prevent the crowd’s advance. At 1:37 p.m. Donohoe took a photo of co-defendant Dominic Pezzola with a riot shield snatched from the police.

Donohoe then found another Proud Boy who “started an altercation in front of the crowd,” the statement said. “Donohoe pushed forward to go up the concrete stairs to the Capitol. The crowd overwhelmed the law enforcement officers who tried to stop their advance.” About 140 police officers were injured in the attack and five people died in the attack or immediately after the attack.

Donohoe was hit by pepperballs fired by police and had to withdraw, but later celebrated the storming of the Capitol, the statement in the MOSD messaging group writes: “we stormed the capital unarmed” and “took over unarmed”. †

Nordean, Biggs and Pezzola have all pleaded innocent.

Donohoe is the third member of the Proud Boys group to plead guilty. On Wednesday, Jeffery Finley, president of the West Virginia Proud Boys division, admitted to being part of an effort to help Trump supporters overwhelm police outside the Capitol, and pleaded guilty to a felony trespassing on limited grounds. , but did not agree to cooperate with the government.

Donohoe is the second Proud Boy to agree to testify against his co-defendants. In January, Matthew Greene of Syracuse, NY, admitted to working with other New York-based members of the extremist group on the Capitol crowd front and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit crimes, also hoping for a reduced sentence in return. for his cooperation. As a result of their deals, no sentencing dates were set for Donohoe or Greene pending the outcome of their testimony in both lawsuits and grand jury hearings.

The conspiracy charge that Donohoe pleaded for has a penalty range of 97 to 121 months, but given the acceptance of responsibility and entering an early plea, Donohoe’s sentences were reduced from 70 to 87 months. If Donohoe provides additional cooperation, prosecutors could ask U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly to further reduce his sentence. The longest sentence so far imposed in the Capitol violation investigation was 63 months, against Robert S. Palmer, for assaulting police.

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