Comings and Goings on the Proud Boy Leaders Prosecution

When DOJ finally added Enrique Tarrio to the Proud Boy leader conspiracy, I noted that the way DOJ has structured the prosecution team for the Proud Boys made it really hard to understand where things were headed.

I’ve been expecting and predicting this indictment since December 28. But for the life of me, I’m not sure where DOJ expects to go from here.

This indictment describes the numbers of people massed at several stages of the operation. 65 members on the Ministry of Self Defense (MOSD) Members Group. 90 people in the New MOSD members group created on January 4. Approximately 100 Proud Boys who met at the Washington Memorial the morning of the attack. Donohoe bragging at 12:00PM on January 6 that “WE ARE WITH 200-300 PBS,” just before they kicked off the riot.

Perhaps this framework is meant to provide a way to implicate all those others, 300 people who agreed, by signing up, that they were following a plan that DOJ has now shown (and that Matthew Greene’s cooperation was designed to show) was a plan to occupy buildings from the start.

But otherwise, this still feels really dispersed, and the prosecution team (which consists of three visible members for the leadership conspiracy, including Erik Kenerson, Jason McCullough, and Luke Jones, and about four detailees from other offices for satellite cases; a fourth prosecutor who had been on the core cases, Christopher Berridge, left immediately after [Matthew] Greene pled) has a far harder caseload than the significantly larger team on the Oath Keepers.

Perhaps something will really start to crystalize as some of these continuances end in April. Or perhaps DOJ will be serially prosecuting Proud Boys for the foreseeable future.

That remains true. But on Friday, there were several minor structural changes worth noting. I’ve attempted to summarize the status of some key Proud Boy and related cases here (I’ve only listed a judge if it is someone other than Tim Kelly).

First, Trial Attorney Conor Mulroe filed a notice of appearance in the Proud Boy Leaders and the Biggs Co-Traveler cases. He hasn’t shown up on any January 6 cases before this. It’s likely he was added because on April 22, Judge Kelly set a trial date in the Proud Boy leaders for August 8. That is, it’s likely he was added to start preparing for trial. But the Biggs co-travelers, on whose case he also filed an appearance, won’t be going to trial anytime soon. That’s partly because three of the defendants have to work through the conflict created by John Pierce’s representation of three of them — Paul Rae, Kevin Tuck, and Nate Tuck (though Pierce recently ceded representation to William Shipley for the Tucks). In hearings, prosecutors have said that at least three of the defendants are considering plea deals.

Then Luke Jones, who has been part of the Leaders case from the start, dropped off the case (he recently dropped off an unremarkable misdemeanor case as well though remains on the Ryan Nichols and Alex Harkrider case). Jones had been focusing on Zach Rehl’s prosecution, and he remains on the Rehl co-traveler case, which has not yet been indicted. I don’t know what to make of his departure (perhaps a recognition that his efforts to flip Rehl won’t ever come to fruition?). Jones has, in the past, worked on national security cases, and in fact was listed as prosecuting Russian hacker Evgeny Viktorovich Gladkikh in the press release (though not the docket). That case will never go to trial (because the US is not about to get custody of Gladkikh anytime soon). But it suggests that Jones may have spent time last June helping co-counsel present that case to a DC grand jury.

I’m most interested in the addition of Nadia Moore to the Leaders case. She’s a Brooklyn-based prosecutor, among five or so prosecutors from around the country who’ve been working the Proud Boy cases (in this table, William Dreher is from Seattle, Alexis Loeb is from San Francisco, Michael Gordon is from Tampa, and Christopher Veatch is from Chicago). And as the table makes clear she has been working the Florida-based Proud Boy and related cases, as well as the case of Steven Miles and Matthew LeBrun, who spent January 6 with Florida Proud Boys AJ Fischer and friends, and the former of whom is accused of helping to bust open the other side window in the original breach of the Capitol. This may suggest the government believes they’ll obtain the testimony of multiple Floridians against Biggs and Tarrio.

Meanwhile, a slew of these cases have just one (listed) prosecutor, including the Kansas City case with its five remaining defendants.

We’ll still see some significant movements in the Proud Boys cases. But for now, the focus — as so much of the January 6 investigation is — may be on Florida.

Update, 6/1: Today Jones dropped off the Nichols and Rehl co-traveller cases.

31 replies
  1. John Paul Jones says:

    Is it too much to hope that some (potentially) loquacious Floridians may have words to share about another Floridian, i.e., Roger Stone? We live in dreams.

    • emptywheel says:

      I guarantee you some of the charged militia members, both this one and the Oath Keepers, had ties to Stone. At least four of the OK cooperators did.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Add to that the militia types guarding Stone conveniently away from the Capitol as the assault went down. IIRC Stone never moved out of his building but that doesn’t account for electronic communications. The whole setup reeked of being Stone’s idea after a nod from Individual-1 to proceed. Wasn’t Stone also behind the Brooks Brothers riot in FL in 2000? Too many parallels to be coincidence, the difference on J6 was that the intensity of effort was far higher.

        And since Stone wasn’t ‘officially’ part of the campaign (IIRC) he had instant deniability for links back to the WH.

    • Manwen says:

      An amateur’s read of the information posted here and the filings and pleading in the cases thus far tells me several things about future indictments.
      1. The militia is only one avenue to go deeper into the conspiracy. If the evidence is there for Jones, Stone, Flynn and others, Justice has it or will soon. The number of cooperators that have direct knowledge of their involvement, as well as the possibility that Tarrio, Rhodes, et al might cooperate, could strengthen the evidence of those ties. If they can get to those with ties to the militias, then the possibility of deeper penetration into the conspiracy begins to unfold.
      2. The fraudulent election scheme and obstruction. Other leaders might get prosecuted in the fraudulent election schemes. Many of the fraudulent electors seemed to get caught up in the moment, feel what they did was support an innocent backup plan for when the case of voter fraud was finally ‘proven.’ It looks as though many of those have testified to the committee and, I assume, to the grand jury. By itself, this provides an approach available to go after those who orchestrated this effort (Eastman, Bannon, Navarro, Giuliani, Epshteyn. etc.) Even without ties to the militia, the possibility exists that this group is involved in enormous obstruction or, at least, fraud. Many of the fraudulent electors might well feel pressure; others believing what they did was innocent, leads me to believe these ‘respectable’ electors are providing investigators with connections.
      3. Rally planners. It is clear that the committee, at least, has been looking into the funding and planning of the stop the steal rally. If there are financing or other violations associated with the rally, they provides another avenue to go deeper into the effort to obstruct. I don’t feel as though we have much information on the investigation into the rally to know, but it is possible that minor infractions here, could lead to more evidence of a broader conspiracy. (I am not as optimistic about this path, but with Ali Alexander and Kremers sitting in the middle, I think they can get cooperation from this group if there is anything there.)
      4. The broader obstruction conspiracy. As EW has noted, and Judge Carter has reinforced, the broad conspiracy fits the definition of obstruction of government function (if the appellate courts hold Dodd-Frank is applicable to this situation). The assault on the capitol to delay if not block certification, the fraudulent electors scheme, and the pressure on Pence are individual acts of obstruction and, collectively, a vast act of obstruction.
      All this leaves me guardedly optimistic. If the evidence is there, I feel that DOJ will pursue every major player in the scheme (with the possible exception of Trump, an issue to discuss another day).
      I think we sometimes view this as an organized crime scheme with a top-down pyramid (e.g., dons to capos to soldiers.) I have begun to view it as more of a spider web where one part pulls on another, but does not reflect top-down control. More like a spider sitting in the center of the web, looking for the best opportunity seize its prey, depending on where the best action is at the time. In my opinion, that is the way Trump operates. He appears chaotic because he spins webs that can be pulled, stretched, or cut off depending on his perceived threats and opportunities at any given time. This is how he often protects himself, and others suffer the consequences. My reaction to what I have read here and elsewhere is that we are headed to a day when, at a minimum, many will more of his acolytes will suffer than ever before.

  2. harpie says:

    Yesterday Laura Rosen retweeted a twitter thread which begins here:

    4:47 PM · May 16, 2022

    “As is customary with inconvenient intelligence, my work was politicized, and my team was dissolved.”

    One of the best and detailed works on the far right in the U.S., by @DTAnalytics, who tracked the growing threat for 25 years for the government. [link]

    > Monitoring Far-Right Extremists for the U.S. Government — No One Listened From the U.S. Army to DHS to ATF, I tracked the growing threat posed by white supremacists and anti-government extremists. I was asked why I even bothered Daryl Johnson March 12, 2021 [Daryl Johnson is one of the foremost experts on domestic extremist groups in the US who previously held a number of government positions]

    […] The culmination of this grim trend was a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, fomented by none other than the president of the United States. […]

    • harpie says:

      The second tweet in that thread:


      And this on the “Great Replacement” theory by @JasminMuj is also one of the most compelling and detailed essays on the subject, tracing its roots to the ‘90s when it inspired Serb Nationalists to genocide. @newlinesmag

      > The Balkan Roots of the Far Right’s “Great Replacement” Theory The “Great Replacement” theory is behind the far right’s worst acts of terrorism, from Christchurch to El Paso. It has its roots in the Balkans, where it inspired Serb Nationalists to genocide Jasmin Mujanović [Jasmin Mujanović is a political scientist and author]

      […] Following the sacking of the U.S. Capitol by an extremist mob on Jan. 6, 2021, the ascendancy of far-right movements in the established democracies has finally landed as, arguably, the central national security issue facing the West. Confronting the QAnon cult has required that researchers and law enforcement decode an obscurantist ideological and political lexicon; the same will be required in recognizing the extent to which Serb nationalist ideas have penetrated many of these same extremist circles. […]

    • harpie says:


      Today @newlinesmag published the origins of the “deep state” phrase, popularized by Trump supporters, which first referred to a real if shadowy parallel system of power in Turkey. In America, it’s the preserve of the conspiracists, writes @PinstripeBungle

      > The Deep State: the Conspiratorial Turn in America The phrase actually referred to a real and shadowy power in Turkey. In America, it’s the preserve of those harboring extreme and unfounded theories Josef Burton May 16, 2022 [Josef Burton is a former American diplomat. He worked on Iranian and Afghan immigration issues during the Trump presidency]

      […] It would be easy enough to write a taxonomy of the term “Deep State,” tracing how it entered into Trumpworld and shifted its meaning therein. There is even a prime candidate for who brought the phrase into the White House: Gen. Mike Flynn, who lasted as Trump’s national security adviser for all of 22 days and who had deep and possibly illegal connections to Turkish politics. […]

    • harpie says:


      What drives groups to commit shocking acts of political violence on ordinary people? @NafeesHamid and his colleagues scanned the brains of extremists to better understand how “devoted actors” shape militancy.

      > The Neuroscience of ‘Devoted Actors’ Within Extremist Groups People join violent groups for a variety of reasons, and they differ in their levels of commitment. Brain scans offer new insights into a particular type of members, the backbone of these groups we call “devoted actors” Nafees Hamid March 1, 2021 [Nafees Hamid is a cognitive scientist of political violence]

  3. Eureka says:

    Raiklin wants some more attention from DOJ and J6 Committee:

    Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦: “Election fraud conspiracy theorist and GOP nominee for PA Gov Doug Mastriano celebrating his win tonight with decertification memo author Ivan Raiklin, who says: “20 electoral votes!” Curious … [video]”
    9:34 PM · May 17, 2022

    A nice Doge transcribed (mini-thread):

    • Eureka says:

      via ^ Doge:

      Here’s what’s said if you can’t hear it.

      Ivan Raiklin: “The next Governor of Pennsylvania, folks, Colonel, Retired, Doug Mastriano, also Senator, and future Governor. What do you want to tell us tonight as you’re about to clinch victory?”

      Mastriano: “We’re gonna send a message to the United States of America that things are changing in Pennsylvania and when Pennsylvania changes, things will change. It’s gonna be fantastic!”

      Ivan Raiklin: “20 electoral votes as well”, with a smirk.

      Doug Mastriano: “Ohhhh yeahhhh”, also with a smirk.

      • Eureka says:

        Is this a good time to mention that there’s an overseas monkey pox outbreak, and that a Massachusetts resident (who had recently traveled to Canada — That doesn’t sound “overseas”) has tested positive?

        There’s not a great single link summarizing all the moving parts — browse reliable sources under the hashtag. Here’s a thread that started before the US case was announced that also links to Helen Branswell @ STAT:

        And here’s Branswell’s new story:

        • Rayne says:

          Um…as you noted, it’s no longer overseas. From BNONews:

          Updated list of monkeypox cases:

          – Portugal: 14 confirmed, 6 suspected
          – UK: 9 confirmed
          – Spain: 7 confirmed, up to 40 suspected
          – Canada: 13 suspected
          – USA: 1 confirmed (Massachusetts)

          Total: 31 confirmed, 59 suspected

          Problematic: it has a ~12 day incubation. An infected person can contact a lot of people in 12 days.

          This Twitter thread I found both educational and appropriately alarmed.

          • Eureka says:


            … [<– that's an expansive sigh]

            Be sure also to see the Bergstrom thread on some whyfors as to the evolution of increased human-to-human transmissibility, which — even if these outbreaks get squelched — by all indicators seems to be what's already occurring now. These outbreaks do not appear to be quite the nothingburgers of years past.

            Ross' thread (nice one, thanks) addresses the good durability of the original smallpox vaccine for those so inoculated. I'll add this from Paul Offit's CHOP center which has a few more data points:

            Of course many of us were never inoculated, and the newer version isn't widely available (nor the original, for that matter) — would need to be ramped up.

            I've already seen some HCPs on twitter saying they're ready to tap-out over this given what they've experienced with certain of the public during the current plague (and the general state of the healthcare system which is all the worse for it).

    • harpie says:

      Greg SARGENT:
      11:26 AM · May 18, 2022

      Stop calling Doug Mastriano an “election denialist.” Let’s be clearer: He’s an insurrectionist who’s running to use the office to ensure that a Dem presidential candidate never wins his state as long as he’s governor. Key to this is Christian nationalism: [WaPo link]

      Say it clearly: Republicans just nominated a pro-Trump insurrectionist We need to be much clearer about what’s really on the ballot this fall.

    • harpie says:

      Eureka’s been on top of this, but here’s a little more grist for the mill, from 5/12/22
      1:16 PM · May 12, 2022

      Two essential reads today on Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate in GOP Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary, which is next week. [THREAD] 1/x First, from @ThePlumLineGS, on the urgency of press coverage of Mastriano’s role in 2021 coup attempt, his stated goals for 2024 if elected PA governor.

      The second, from @WordandWay’s @BrianKaylor and @beauunderwood, on Matriano’s Christian nationalism and the Christian nationalist support for him in PA and around the country. 5/12/22 […]

      If you read Kaylor and Underwood’s piece, you might be tempted to say to yourself, “this is too crazy to be believed, these people must be the fringe.”

      I am here to tell you: do not delude yourself. […]

      • Eureka says:

        MSM outlets need to have Sarah Posner on speed-dial; also I have that wordandway article in my list to finish. These are great experts for journalists to learn from and amplify until they develop the needed muscle memory to properly frame the truth here.

        I am horribly disappointed, for example, in how most MSNBC/NBC journalists (Joy Reid is one positive exception that comes to mind) covered the similarly-situated Kathy Barnette (they were so gleeful of their shiny ‘get’); wrote a whole thing but never posted it. There is a tremendous cost to such “anti-establishment darling with a side of Big Lie” coverage which goes unmeasured each iteration until we’re left twiddling our thumbs in private reflecting on the democratic rights we used to have.

        Anyway, Cook Political moved the PA Gov. seat from Toss Up to Lean Dem upon Mastriano’s win, but we all know how much that means.

  4. harpie says:

    I thought this THREAD Cheryl Rofer retweeted the other day might be of interest to others, here: [Biology professor,
    @UW. Information flow in science and society. Book *Calling Bullshit*
    1:54 AM · May 17, 2022

    1. Misinformation about science can cause massive harm, as we have seen all too well throughout the COVID pandemic.

    Over the past two years, I’ve collaborated with an extraordinary group of teachers and researchers to re-envision science education in the age of misinformation. [THREAD]

  5. harpie says:
    2:24 PM · May 19, 2022

    Govt just turned over a 4TB hard drive to the Proud Boys

    Carmen Hernandez is listing off the equivalent. 1,300 physical file cabinets of paper = 1TB.

    Hernandez is about to explain what she believes the USG is sitting on.

    Hernandez says the Donohoe 302 was exculpatory. She says they never got it until Kelly filed the Due Process protection act order.

    One big issue is the 1776 doc [“1776 Returns”] that Tarrio got [from “An individual whose identity is known to the grand jury] right before the riot. [12/30/20]

    Hernandez: Was President Trump the one who sent the document?

    [Well… huh]

    Long pause after Kelly asks when USG plans on handing over that 1776 doc.

    Hernandez has Tarrio’s phone, so hypothetically Tarrio’s communication with the person who sent it. […]

    • harpie says:

      12/30/20 An individual whose identity is known to the grand jury sends to TARRIO a 9-pg document titled, “1776 Returns,” which sets forth a plan to have as “many people as possible” occupy a few “crucial buildings”, including House and Senate office buildings, on 1/6/21, to “show our politicians We the People are in charge.” This individual states: “The revolution is important than anything.” TARRIO responds: “That’s what every waking moment consists of…I’m not playing games.” [Conversation continues the next day, 12/31/20]

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