April 2, 2023

BOMBSHELLED: Judge denies mistrial as Proud Boys evidence of guilt piles up

BOMBSHELLED: Judge denies mistrial as Proud Boys evidence of guilt piles up

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The first day of testimony in the Proud Boys trial has already entered into evidence messages exchanged between the extremists that seem like explicit admissions of intent — and defense attorneys have already begged for a mistrial on the grounds that evidence is “inflammatory.”

A judge has denied a motion for a mistrial based on opening statements, before the first day of testimony in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial even broke for lunch.

The defense has argued that some of the evidence, including a video in which a Black woman is seen on the ground after a confrontation with the militia group, is “inflammatory” — but Judge Timothy Kelly disagreed, pointing out that defendant Zach Rehl is the one who posted the video to begin with.

The prosecution entered other evidence that the Proud Boys and their defense teams can’t be happy about, including messages posted by and sent between the members charged with conspiracy.

These messages are also where Enrique Tarrio, who was not at the Capitol but still charged, is looped in.

They include a message from Tarrio at 2:38 p.m. on January 6th saying, “Don’t f***ing leave. … Proud of my boys and my country.”

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This is about the same time that then-president Donald Trump sent a tweet, not asking the attackers to leave, but to “stay peaceful,” and long after the point when any pretense of peace had ceased, if it can ever be argued to have existed at all.

Live tweets of the trial from Law&Crime‘s Marisa Sarnoff show the progression of Thursday morning’s courtroom events, as seen below.

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NSFW WARNING: these tweets include direct quotes from evidence entered, including profanity.

Dominic Pezzola and Enrique Tarrio’s messages are both cited by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough, all exhibiting knowledge of the seriousness of the attack, and apparent determination to keep it up.

Defendants Joe Biggs and Zach Rehl’s actions and words concurrent with the attack are also entered into evidence, respectively showing the former boasting that the group “stormed the motherf***ing Capitol” and “took the motherf***ing place back,” and the latter noting the police efforts to disperse the crowd.

Saroff also shares that as Judge Kelly attempted to dismiss for lunch, Rehl’s attorney requested a mistrial, and was denied.

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In the same time period that these messages were being sent, NPR‘s timeline shows that Trump was being urged to tell rioters to leave, and instead tweeted first an attack on Mike Pence, and then a tone-deaf call to “stay peaceful.”

Over an hour after Tarrio’s message not to leave, Trump finally drops a video asking the participants to go home, while also assuring them their concerns are valid, and that their reactions are understandable.

The start of this trial has already been delayed over issues with one of the attorneys initially on the team, Norm Pattis.

Pattis defended Alex Jones in his Sandy Hook defamation trial, and has had his law license suspended for 6 months over his improper release (he says it was accidental) of material including medical records of victims.

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