Proud Boys conspirator scores plea deal in Jan. 6 case

The president of a North Carolina branch of the far-right group The Proud Boys on Friday reached an agreement with prosecutors investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Charles Donohoe, 34, who has close ties to the Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and assault and obstruction of police officers. The maximum sentence is 20 years for conspiracy and eight years for assault and obstructing police, although he is expected to receive a lighter sentence for pleading guilty and cooperating with prosecutors.

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Charles Donohoe, member of the Proud Boys, at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Tarrio, Donohoe, and other Proud Boys reportedly formed an organization called the Ministry of Self Defense (MOSD), with Tarrio at the top of the power structure. “This group would form the core of leadership in a new chapter of the Proud Boys organization that Tarrio dubbed the ‘national rally planning’ chapter. The first event targeted by the group was the January 6 rally in DC,” prosecutors wrote in court filings.

Prior to the Jan. 6 riots, Donohoe allegedly posted on the MOSD group chat that the Washington, DC government tried to “limit” protesters on Jan. 6 to “deny popular support for Trump.” He added, “We cannot let them succeed.”

As protesters approached the Capitol on Jan. 6, Donohoe is accused of reporting that the group was on Capitol grounds with the message: “WE ARE 200-300” Proud Boys. Tarrio wasn’t part of the Capitol mob.

Prosecutors say Donohoe and his co-defendants from Proud Boy charged the Capitol and breached barricades. He then allegedly threw water bottles at a police line before helping the crowd overwhelm law enforcement guarding the building’s entrance.

“This action ultimately allowed Proud Boy’s member [Dominic] Pezzola to advance to the Senate side of the Capitol, where Pezzola smashed a large window with the riot shield at about 2:13 p.m.,” prosecutors wrote in a memo supporting his pre-trial detention last year. That document also claimed Donohoe sent a message during the riot that read, “Feel like a complete warrior.”

It’s unclear what charges will be included in the guilty plea at his scheduled hearing on Friday, but Donohoe would be the first of Enrique Tarrio’s co-defendants to finalize a settlement with the government should the settlement hearing go as planned. Last year Proud Boy Matthew Greene admitted to conspiracy charges and cooperating with investigators.

However, Donohoe’s five other co-defendants, including Tarrio, have all pleaded not guilty and currently intend to go to trial.

Scott MacFarlane contributed to this report.

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