Trump Campaign Asked Proud Boys to Attend Post-Election Rallies in Plain Clothes

The court docket data display that Proud Boys leaders instructed members to organize for violence on the rallies.

Proof introduced within the seditious conspiracy trial towards leaders of the white nationalist group the Proud Boys means that the group’s higher-ups had been in communication with the Trump marketing campaign, which urged them to look at rallies round false claims of fraud within the 2020 presidential election.

Information of the proof was reported on by The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Prosecutors showcased communications through which members of the Proud Boys, together with its then-leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, mentioned plans to attend rallies in assist of former President Donald Trump. In keeping with Tarrio’s messages, which had been despatched utilizing an encrypted program, the Trump marketing campaign requested the Proud Boys for assist in the times after the election, when the outcomes had been known as for now-President Joe Biden.

The marketing campaign requested the Proud Boys to attend rallies and to look indistinguishable from different rally-goers, somewhat than carrying their conventional black and yellow garb.

“The marketing campaign requested us to not put on colours to those occasions,” Tarrio said in one of the messages, which was dated November 8, 2020, simply days after the election.

The communications additionally point out that Tarrio and the Proud Boys had been conscious that these occasions might doubtlessly erupt into violence, together with the January 6, 2021, “Cease the Steal” rally.

“No matter occurs … make it a spectacle,” Tarrio said on January 4, 2021.

Greater than 200 encrypted chats, texts and different types of communications had been introduced on the trial, showcasing that Tarrio and different Proud Boys members had been making ready for violence on January 6, the day a mob of Trump loyalists attacked the Capitol constructing in an try to disrupt Congress’s certification of the 2020 election.

The preliminary communications discussing how Trump’s marketing campaign had contacted Tarrio happened simply weeks after Trump appeared to publicly endorse the white nationalist group. In a debate between Trump and Biden in September 2020, Trump refused to sentence the Proud Boys, instructing them as an alternative to “stand again and stand by” — phrases that the group celebrated as “historic” and useful for driving up their recruitment.

A federal decide within the seditious conspiracy trial decided in January of this yr that Trump’s phrases throughout that debate may very well be included in prosecutors’ proof towards the Proud Boys. A responsible verdict towards Tarrio and others within the trial may very well be detrimental to Trump’s 2024 election prospects, some commentators say.

“A conviction now will bolster [the] concept” that the Proud Boys had been motivated by the previous president “and assist tie Trump to the coup,” Los Angeles Occasions Authorized Affairs columnist Harry Litman stated in response to the decide’s resolution.

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