A Proud Boys leader pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to the January 6, 2021 insurrection, reported CNN. Charles Donohoe, 34, is the first out of all Proud Boy leadership to plead guilty and cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation.
Per CNN’s report, Donohoe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting an officer. He could face over seven years in prison and must pay $2,000 in restitution for the damages at the Capitol building.
Prosecutors got the lead on Donohoe after tapping the phone of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.
More on the case from CNN:
According to court records, Donohoe helped to recruit members and lead the Proud Boys on January 6.
Prosecutors say that Donohoe was a member of a small national leadership group of Proud Boys, self-entitled the Ministry of Self Defense. The group, which was established by Tarrio, was for “national rally planning” and included “hand selected members,” according to court documents. Donohoe, Tarrio, Biggs, Nordean and Rehl and others had an encrypted messaging channel entitled “MOSD Leaders Group,” where they created the plan for January 6.
Two days before the riot, Tarrio was arrested in DC and instructed the members to carry out what they had planned for January 6, prosecutors say. Within an hour of Tarrio’s arrest, Donohoe deleted the MOSD Leaders Group message and warned others that “everything is compromised” because investigators might search Tarrio’s phone.
“Well at least they won’t get our boots on the ground plan because we are one step ahead of them,” Donohoe messaged, according to court documents.
“One step ahead,” he thought.
Donohoe was also caught on video carrying a police riot shield pushing past the officers into the Capitol and shared messages celebrating the insurrection with other Proud Boys members after the mob retreated, reported CNN.
Five more Proud Boys leaders, Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to the incident.