Proud Boys Sedition Trial Begins Marked By Courtroom Drama And Fighting!

Proud Boys Sedition Trial Begins: Five Proud Boys are on trial for seditious conspiracy in connection with the 2021 US Capitol attack. The preliminary round of the trial has been hectic, involving heated arguments during jury selection, discussions about the evidence, and threats from defense attorneys to drop the case.

Opening arguments are anticipated on Thursday, but the arguing in court is likely to go on. The judge has frequently delayed the opening of the trial to deal with the never-ending wrangling between federal prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the judge over the course of the past three weeks.

All the attorneys received a stern warning from District Judge Timothy Kelly on Wednesday: “Take care – you talk over me, and contempt will be coming down the line. It will be a protracted trial.

Enrique Tarrio, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola, and Joseph Biggs are the five defendants, and they have all entered not-guilty pleas.

The three weeks of courtroom drama started with the jury selection process before Christmas. Prosecutors and defense lawyers struggled constantly to come to an agreement on potential jurors who didn’t have strong ideas about the extreme-right Proud Boys group.

Some defense lawyers, like Carmen Hernandez, who represented Rehl, tried to have practically every prospective juror who had prior knowledge of the Proud Boys—however slight—disqualified. Nayib Hassan and Sabino Jauregui, lawyers for Tarrio, said they were suspicious that those who claimed to know little about the Proud Boys would be lying to get on the jury and convict their client.

Kelly handled arguments about potential exhibits on Wednesday. During a contentious exchange, Hernandez threatened to leave the case if Kelly permitted the prosecution to display a jury certain footage.

Hernandez claimed that although the video had not been made public, it had been shot before January 6, 2021, and was “extremely biased.” Kelly was not amused by the suggestion that the attorney might resign.

Proud Boys Sedition Trial Begins
Proud Boys Sedition Trial Begins

Image Source: opb

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If I didn’t make certain choices, you, Ms. Hernandez, had suggested something to the effect that you were going to withdraw from the case, Kelly replied. And I’d like to be very clear that I don’t really give a damn about that… even if I did let you out of the case, it’s unclear.

Hernandez answered, “It’s not a threat. “I’m not used to threatening to leave a case,” the attorney said. Kelly did not respond to Nick Smith’s threat to withdraw from the case because of a video the prosecution wants to show the jury. Smith is another defense counsel.

Kelly did permit the broadcast of video from a 2020 presidential debate in which Donald Trump, who was then the president, remarked that the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by.” Kelly claimed that the remarks revealed “an additional reason to support Mr. Trump (and) engage in the accused conspiracy” to maintain Trump’s position of power.

A defense attorney named Roger Roots, who joined Pezzola’s legal team just before the trial, also ran afoul of the judge. According to Roots, he intended to tell the jury that Pezzola acted in self-defense on January 6 against pepper spray-addled police officers. Kelly informed Roots that the window for making any claims of self-defense had passed and said, “I know you just joined the case last week but there is no evidence of that.”

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