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How the Legal System was Abused With Lawfare to Convict the Proud Boys for J6

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Cliff Grassmick/Daily Camera via AP

Five Proud Boys were convicted by a jury last week for criminal acts related to January 6, 2021, but no one really believes they did anything more violent than BLM and Antifa. Thousands of the latter cases involving violence have been dismissed. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly allowed the Proud Boys to be portrayed to the heavily biased jury using language selected for its incendiary value to portray a distorted picture, including telling the jury about actions by others that weren’t even taken by the five. 


It didn’t help that the MSM included language in most articles about J6 as “storming the Capitol” instead of a “mostly peaceful protest.” They could have easily done the latter, because the five brought no weapons, assaulted no officers and Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio wasn’t even at J6. 

Prosecutors repeatedly played clips of Donald Trump in an effort to manipulate the Trump-hating jury. Trump said, “Stand back and stand by” and encouraged supporters to come to J6 with, “It will be wild.” Neither of those sound like a call to violence anyway, Trump frequently talks in hyperbole. But one juror admitted afterwards when asked why he voted to convict, that Trump’s remarks were “part of it.”

In order for there to have been a conspiracy with Trump’s beckoning, Trump would have been required to be involved too, but he never spoke with the Proud Boys about J6. Even MSM articles pointed out that “neither statement reflects directly on any alleged actions by the five defendants in the case.” They admitted the young men merely engaged in a protest and march.

Most of the five were convicted of seditious conspiracy and other felonies. The sedition charge has been rarely used in U.S. history, except against secessionist rebels during the Civil War — and against Oathkeepers involved with J6 earlier this year. The jury was told that seditious conspiracy didn’t merely mean overthrow the government through force; it had the much broader meaning of interfering with the government by use of force. Kelly ruled that jurors could convict on conspiracy even if they found there was no plan to disrupt the certification of the election, but merely an “unspoken agreement” — whatever that means — to do so. 


Obviously, this overly broad interpretation could be used to convict anyone engaged in civil disobedience. Mike Huckabee observed, “[T]he language is vague enough to facilitate the criminal prosecution of public dissent.” Martin Luther King Jr., Vietnam War protesters and those protesting national COVID-19 restrictions could all be convicted. It sets a very chilling precedent. 

Tarrio’s instruction to create a “spectacle” at the Capitol was used to make jurors think he intended violence — but the Proud Boys are well known for their pattern of reacting to violence, not starting it. 

The jurors were extremely biased against the defendants; six had participated in left-wing protests or marches, and not a single one gave any indication of being conservative. Yet the judge would not grant one of the 16 requests for change of venue out of Trump-hating D.C.

An FBI agent was caught deleting and withholding over a thousand Excel rows of messages she had written, but nothing happened. That kind of behavior often results in prosecutions being completely thrown out. The messages included a directive from FBI personnel to the agent to “destroy” 338 pieces of evidence. Kelly refused to let the defense cross-examine the agent over it. Kelly also refused to allow the jury to see 80 of the lines. 

Prosecutors collected over half a million text messages from the Proud Boys in a fishing expedition. Even The New York Times admitted, “none set forth an explicit plan to storm the building or to forcibly disrupt the election certification taking place inside.” In fact, when someone suggested in a text to “storm the Capitol,” Tarrio did not endorse the plan. Even prosecutors admitted the protest was “spontaneous” — so it couldn’t have been some preplanned conspiracy. 


Jurors admitted afterwards that they convicted the Proud Boys based on the fact the five had deleted text messages — without even knowing what the messages said. Prosecutors scared other Proud Boys into saying negative things about the five, giving them deals in exchange for cooperation. 

Kelly denied at least 10 requests for a mistrial from defense attorneys. Judges don’t dare to treat those prosecuted for J6 like regular Americans prosecuted for protesting, since they don’t want to be forever known the rest of their lives as “election denier” judges, harassed everywhere they go. Looking at Kelly’s previous decisions, there were signs he wasn’t going to rule favorably. When Trump banned obnoxious CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House, CNN sued and Kelly ruled in Acosta’s favor.

It’s now being ignored that there was no violent reaction across the country in response to the verdicts. The irony here is it’s really the left that engages in violence when they don’t get their way; the facts have to be distorted and provocateurs planted within right-wing protests in order to attempt to portray the right as violent. 

The Proud Boys may not be the preferred style for most folks on the right. But that’s why the left is targeting them; it’s easier to distort their actions and fit them into a crime than it is the rest of us, so left-wing prosecutors are picking them off to establish precedents that are a gross abuse of the law, which can then be used against anyone on the right. 

Sadly, Americans are so afraid of being canceled, censored and targeted that few dare to speak up to expose the truth behind these convictions, especially attorneys who understand the law, since they risk being disbarred. The 65 Project was formed to disbar attorneys helping Trump, especially in regards to the 2020 election issues including J6.


Since the U.S. Supreme Court has ducked appeals related to Trump losing the 2020 election, it’s highly unlikely this frightening precedent, which started with the Oathkeeper J6 convictions in January, is going to change. 

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