By John Friend
A newly released video shared and reported on by independent journalist Cara Castronuova from the Gateway Pundit seemingly exonerates the Proud Boys and its top leadership from the absurd seditious conspiracy charges the Department of Justice has filed against five leading members of the highly demonized fraternal organization.
The video, part of a livestream featuring some of the top leaders of the Proud Boys organization, was originally aired on December 30, 2020 – roughly one week prior to the rally on Jan. 6.
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, which is airing its hearings to the masses in a made-for-TV format for maximum propaganda purposes, has portrayed the Proud Boys as a dangerous terrorist organization that was instrumental in organizing and perpetrating what the Committee and the fake news media have described as a “violent insurrection” on Jan. 6 designed to overturn the 2020 election.
According to the #January6thHearings, these guys planned the whole thing with Trump.#ProudBoys had no weapons.#J6Committee is lying because Trump is a threat to their criminal way of life.
Watch 👇 pic.twitter.com/KYWLGdssvD
— CitizenLenz (@CitizenLenz) June 29, 2022
The video features five leaders of the Proud Boys who have been indicted and are currently detained on federal charges relating to their participation in the protest on Jan. 6.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the Hispanic leader of the so-called “White supremacist” Proud Boys for many years, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola all participated in the livestream video discussion and have been indicted on “one count of seditious conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties,” according to a press release from the Department of Justice on June 6 announcing the charges. “All defendants now face a total of nine charges and Pezzola faces an additional robbery charge,” the press release noted.
According to reporting by Castronuova, this particular livestream discussion “has been mentioned in court hearings but was not available to the public until today.” Furthermore, prosecuting attorneys “had viewed the recording in its entirety, and cherry-picked out bits to misconstrue evidence to incriminate the defendants.”
In the video, Tarrio explains that Proud Boys would “never be the ones to cross the police barrier, or cross something, in order to get to somebody. We’re always going to be the ones standing back. And we’re always going to be the ones to… defend.”
The livestream was part of a discussion of the Ministry of Self Defense, a special group within the Proud Boys broader organization created by Tarrio in December 2020 to better coordinate the group’s public protest strategies.
“We need a way to do rallies better,” Tarrio noted, before initiating a discussion with the other participants on how to avoid violence and instill order and discipline in their members participating in protests. They also discussed strategies to prevent injury to group members and avoid bad public relations. He explained that the entire organization would be “buried” if “one huge incident happens and we’re at fault.”
“Self defense should always come first,” Tarrio emphasized. “You should always defend yourselves; we shouldn’t put ourselves in harm’s way. We’ve been known to defend people, I get it, but that doesn’t mean we have to go out and look for it.”
In the DOJ’s press release, it is alleged that Tarrio and the other co-defendants, all of whom were members of the Ministry of Self Defense, “conspired to prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote, and to oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States” beginning in December 2020 when this special group was founded.
“On Jan. 6, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to dismantling of metal barricades, destruction of property, breaching of the Capitol building, and assaults on law enforcement,” the press release notes, ignoring key pieces of evidence demonstrating the chaos in the Capitol was actually facilitated by law enforcement stationed there that day.
Additionally, in the discussion which took place prior to Jan. 6, Tarrio and other Proud Boys leaders made clear their intentions, which largely revolved around assembling peacefully to participate in the protests that day, and to avoid confrontations with antifa and other hostile individuals or organizations. They sought to bring “a level of order and professionalism to the group’s upcoming march in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, that had, by his own account, been missing at earlier Proud Boys rallies in the city,” according to a report published by The New York Times. Members were advised to avoid drinking alcohol, stay clear of antifa and other hostile counter protesters, and strictly engage in self defense.
“There is no evidence pointing to a group planning on taking over the government,” Castronuova notes in her article.
Even The New York Times admitted in its report that the recorded meeting “makes no mention of any planning that might have occurred in the week directly before the Capitol attack.”
Watch highlights of the nearly two hour video discussion below or watch the full video here.