If you think you already know everything about the planning of the January 6th insurrection, the Department of Justice has just provided some new info that tells us that we’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uncovering the details of what now has to be acknowledged as a vast right-wing extremist conspiracy to overturn a lawful election. Justice Department prosecutors posted online today the full document of a written plan entitled “1776 Returns” that was created by The Proud Boys and outlines the details of their dastardly plot.
The contents page of the plan from the Proud Boys divides it into two sections — one is dramatically entitled “Storm the Winter Palace” and labeled “INTERNAL ONLY,” while the other is called “Patriot Plan” and intended for external distribution. The cover page cautions its audience to “Read Directions Carefully.”
Next, the document presents a map of the Capitol grounds with crucial entry points highlighted, followed by a clear indication of the insurrectionist Proud Boys’ “Overall Goal” of invading and occupying “a select few, but crucial building in the DC area for a set period of time.”
The document handily presents a list of the targeted buildings which includes the major congressional office buildings where legislators and staff work daily and also adds the Washington DC headquarters of CNN with a reminder to “at least egg doorway” of the news network.
Next, the internal portion of the Proud Boys’ plan details the “Manpower Needs” for their conspiratorial actions, which frighteningly includes a “Lead” described as a “Covert Sleeper” who would set up “fake appointments” and was “expected to spend the day as our insider and let people in the building,” and a backup “Second,” in case the original “Sleeper” is uncovered. The team would be completed by a “Hypeman” responsible for leading chants and a “Recruiter” tasked with gathering a “minimum of 50” “Patriots” at the entrance points for each building and handing out the “Patriot Plan” documents to the crowd.
The document then details the logistical plan of action for both the days leading to January 6th and for insurrection day itself, including such practical advice as “Use COVID to your advantage,” by wearing face masks that would protect the rioters’ identities and how to infiltrate their targets.
Tactics suggested in the plan include creating distractions for law enforcement by setting off false fire alarms at major tourist sights in the city and occupying the offices of specific senators. The Proud Boys even include a list of chants for the hypemen to lead as they present their list of faux-populist demands.
Of course, the Proud Boys also offer helpful hints at creating maximum chaos by using semi-trucks or caravans to block crucial intersections in the city and encourage everyone to “have an escape plan,” even if it specifies that the escape plan is for “those in charge” rather than the “Patriots” that they hope will do their dirty work.
All of this evidence does not make the future look bright for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio in his upcoming trial for seditious conspiracy.
That such a document as “1776 Returns” exists is somehow less surprising than the fact that its existence has remained undisclosed until now.
Let’s hope that its disclosure brings us one step closer to accountability for all who were involved in the planning and execution of the January 6th insurrection, including those who directed, inspired, and financed it.
Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.