Tarrio, Proud Boys trial moved to December in House Jan. 6, where fallout was heard

Written by Javed Iqbal

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A federal judge adjourned the trial of five members of the extremist group Proud Boys on Wednesday, after several defendants and prosecutors warned that the planned release of a public report and testimonials from the high-profile house search of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 attacks could impair preparations .

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington, DC, said in a hearing that he “reluctantly” reached the decision to adjourn the scheduled trial on August 8 against former chairman of the Proud Boys Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and four others due to outrageous conspiracy and other charges, but acknowledged strong concerns from prosecutors and defense attorneys that the House Select Committee investigating the breach may reveal important evidence that they have not seen.

The transition to a lawsuit now set for December came as the TV house hearings this month, which has in part focused on alleged actions by Proud Boys members amid what lawmakers say, is potentially criminal behavior by President Donald Trump and others who erroneously claimed the 2020 election was stolen before the attack on Congress.

The judge in the Proud Boys verdict ruled Wednesday, after senior Justice Department officials last week warned a lawyer for the House panel that by not giving prosecutors access to about 1,000 transcripts of private witness interviews before their planned public release in September, lawmakers complicated the “ability” of the prosecutor. to investigate and prosecute those involved in criminal conduct. “

“It is reasonably predictable that information relevant to the defendants’ guilt (or innocence) will soon be released to the parties and the public,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson wrote Tuesday. “The inability of the parties to prepare their respective cases to account for such additional information is potentially detrimental – to all parties.”

The prosecution included last week’s letter to the committee from the heads of the Department of Justice’s National Security and Criminal Departments and the U.S. Attorney for Washington in a lawsuit that informed Kelly that they agreed with two defendants’ proposals to postpone the trial.

“The transcripts are a must-have for the preparation of the trial … not during or after the trial,” wrote attorney John D. Hull for defendant Joseph Biggs of Ormond Beach. Fla., Who was joined by co-defendant Dominic Pezzola of Rochester, NY

Hull also demanded a delay until “the dust had settled” in terms of public opinion.

A third defendant, Zachary Rehl of Philadelphia, did not want to postpone the trial, but felt he had no choice if he wanted a fair one, attorney Carmen Hernandez told the court.

“Mr Rehl is again facing a Hobson election. Proceed to the trial in circumstances that will not allow a fair and impartial jury or remain detained for even longer,” Hernandez said. there is only one fair and correct thing to do – take as much time as necessary to ensure that the unfair publicity has disappeared and any evidence favorable to Mr Rehl becomes available. “

Two defendants opposed any delay.

“Tarrio believes that an impartial jury will never be reached in Washington DC, whether the trial is in August, December or next year,” wrote attorney Sabino Jauregui.

Ethan Nordean of the Seattle area opposed a delay unless he was released from custody.

Nordean’s attorneys David B. Smith and Nicholas D. Smith argued that forcing their client to choose between a fair trial or a speedy trial, after being imprisoned since April 2021, “raises the suspicion that he has been detained. … Not according to the rule of – the legal basis of public safety, but to punish him before sentencing or to force him to waive his right to a trial. “

Kelly asked both sides to prepare for the jury selection from Dec. 12, warning that he planned to hold trial throughout the holiday season, with the exception of the federal holidays of Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“I do not think any of us would choose … to start a four- to six-week trial on December 12,” the judge said, but “I think I owe the jury, and I owe it to the parties to keep going. hard I can. I pretty much think we will continue without a break through the holidays. “

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Javed Iqbal

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