With Friends Like These: A rough start to testimony from defense witnesses at Proud Boys sedition trial

From emptywheel, 4/2: Thanks to the generosity of emptywheel readers we have funded Brandi’s coverage for the rest of the trial. If you’d like to show your further appreciation for Brandi’s great work, here’s her PayPal tip jar.

There was a moment outside of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Proud Boy Travis Nugent turned to Proud Boy elder and leader in the neofascist network, Ethan Nordean, and asked him: “Are we doing this?” 

Then, Nugent testified this week at the seditious conspiracy trial unfolding in Washington, D.C., Nordean said nothing. But he watched Nordean move toward the Capitol and ahead to barriers thinly held—for that moment—by a scattering of police already wildly outnumbered by the crowd. 

“You felt shocked but you still knew you were not supposed to go past the barriers?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe asked Nugent, both of his hands resting on the edge of the courtroom podium as he leaned in toward the witness on Monday. 

“Correct,” Nugent replied. 

His voice was quiet, as it so often was as he testified throughout the day. 

“So you fell back on the chain of command?” Mulroe said. 

At almost a whisper though Nugent’s mouth was near the microphone in the witness box, he testified: “Fair statement.”

And then, Mulroe elicited, Nordean just looked at Nugent. Two years after that day, Nugent struggled to recall “exactly what totally came out” in that moment between the men as they stood in a thick crowd surrounding the Capitol. But he did remember Nordean looking at him, unresponsive to his question: Are we doing this?

When Mulroe asked Nugent whether he remembered asking Nordean a more specific question next— “are we going in?”—Nugent wasn’t sure. 

But he knew he didn’t need to be told to follow when Nordean moved ahead and though he agreed with the prosecution that he is the final arbiter of his own decisions, he still rested his hand on Nordean’s shoulder as they moved together toward metal fencing that would very soon be ripped from concrete and broken into pieces. 

Tensions in the crowd were high, he recalled. Nugent remembered feeling uneasy. 

Yes, he said, it was true that he asked Nordean to get on a megaphone and try to calm the crowd. Yes, he said, he even went so far as to approach a police officer on site and request to borrow that officer’s bullhorn. Yes, he agreed, if they could just get their hands on that megaphone and have a Proud Boy speak to the masses, a person the crowd would respect because this was a crowd that respected and adored Proud Boys, there might be a chance to turn the temperature down. 

But that chance didn’t come. When Nugent was interviewed by the FBI on May 5, he told them Nordean wouldn’t listen to him. 

“I don’t think that was my exact words but it was along those lines,” he told the jury Monday. 

He would go no further with Nordean and he didn’t enter the Capitol on Jan. 6. He said “correct” when asked if he understood that day that if he went ahead, he would be breaking the law. Nugent said he understood their presence interfered with police. But, he said, he didn’t know at the time what politicians were doing inside the Capitol. 

Nordean stayed after Nugent left and to his knowledge, Joseph Biggs, one of Nordean’s co-defendants in the now ten-week-long trial, stayed too. 

Nugent has not been charged with any crimes and it was the Proud Boys who called him as their witness with the aim of having the Washington state, fourth-degree Proud Boy tell the jury only of how there was no plan on Jan. 6 to stop the certification and that members of the group showed up merely to air their frustrations and support Donald Trump’s grievances, as well as their own, over a “stolen election.”

When Nugent came under direct from Nordean’s defense attorney Nick Smith, his answers were brief and amenable to those core arguments, even if, at times, it seemed any rehearsal or preparation for his testimony may have already gone stale in Nugent’s mind. 

As a member of Henry Tarrio’s specially-created Ministry of Self Defense text channel where Proud Boys frequently discussed Jan. 6, and as a member of the group’s Boots on the Ground chat just for those Proud Boys on-site on Jan. 6, Nugent was privy to communications that prosecutors have said are integral to the alleged conspiracy to stop the certification. 

When Smith questioned Nugent, he steered clear of what the witness may have seen in those communications, keeping his questions generic and short-lived. 

Nugent did tell Smith, however, that when he met with Proud Boys at the Washington Monument before heading to the Capitol on Jan, 6, he didn’t remember what was said as the group congregated. Present there were defendants Biggs, Nordean, and Zachary Rehl. 

He had partied the night before with Nordean and other Proud Boys at an AirBnB, he testified. A lot of people drank heavily. The next morning hangovers were in abundance. He told Smith he couldn’t recall what was said on the night of the 5th but there were discussions, he said, about what would happen the next day. 

The group met at the Washington Monument and by the time they had moved from the Monument to a smattering of food trucks near the Capitol to eat, Nugent told Smith the Proud Boys, and in particular, Ethan Nordean, had said repeatedly they just wanted to go back to their hotels or AirBnBs to relax for the day. A conversation ensued among Proud Boys at the food trucks too but Nugent told Smith he couldn’t recall whether it was then that a “decision was ever really made” about where to go next. 

He described it as “chaotic” and struggled to pin down particulars. The situation, he offered, “devolved” quickly. 

When Proud Boys went to the nearby Peace Circle next, Smith didn’t work to fish out specifics. 

He, like Mulroe, elicited that Nugent was “shocked” when people started going over barriers at the Peace Circle and prompted by Smith, Nugent said it felt “spontaneous.” He told the jury, he “just didn’t know it was going to happen.” People were taking pictures of them that day wherever they went and although Nugent and Nordean stayed close to each other and often conversed, Nugent couldn’t say whether Nordean brought up using force at the Capitol as they marched toward it. 

“I kind of perceived the whole thing as a photo op,” Nugent said. “A publicity stunt.” 

 He later told Smith Proud Boys were “pushed up” by the crowd into areas he knew they shouldn’t be. 

Like the cows, pigs, and chickens that Nugent raises, he said, it was a “herd mentality.” 

Then, touching on another core theory from the defense—that Proud Boys were incited not the other way around—Nugent testified that a man who introduced himself as a pastor had approached Nordean and asked Nordean to go through the barriers. Nugent recalled Nordean had “basically denied” the request but Nugent had no further particulars. 

When Smith asked him about a rowdy man in a star-spangled jacket—identified as Proud Boy Chris Quaglin of New Jersey—who appeared to be in an altercation with police, Nugent in one breath told Smith he could see Nordean grabbing the man as if to stop him but in another breath, Nugent testified that he couldn’t get a clear read on what was actually happening. It was just his perception, he said, that Nordean was trying to stop the man. Quaglin now faces multiple charges, including assault. He has pleaded not guilty. 

After the 6th, Nugent stayed in the Proud Boys text channels for a day or two. He suggested to members that the chats be deleted. He was worried, he testified, that “antifa groups” would infiltrate the chats and doxx him or others. He was “highly doxxed,”he said. 

Under the friendly glow of direct examination, Nugent, in sum, aligned himself with the defense’s narrative: Proud Boys weren’t at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to incite violence or to force their will. 

But once Mulroe began asking the questions, evidence emerged of Nugent celebrating violence and in particular, the violence exacted by the Proud Boys.

That evidence included an illustration of Proud Boys strangling people, the animated eyes of their victims bulging. This was found on Nugent’s Google drive. He admitted, there were times he also celebrated the aggressive use of force. He admitted that violent propaganda videos showing Proud Boys clashing at events or at rallies or in the streets were effective recruitment tools. And when Mulroe asked Nugent if Proud Boys, like himself, recruited people aggressively to “attack people he didn’t agree with,” Nugent affirmed. 

Proud Boys punching Antifa

And key to the prosecution’s argument that Proud Boys developed a growing disdain for law enforcement in the run-up to Jan. 6 that fueled the intensity of the violence that day, Mulroe showed jurors a series of texts where Nugent urged Proud Boys less than a week after the 2020 election that they couldn’t allow cops “to become social justice warriors.” 

Most cops were “good dudes,” Nugent wrote on Nov. 9, 2020, but if they chose to “play games” then it would be “time to play.” And if necessary, Proud Boys would turn their back on police, he added. Other text messages showed Nugent discussing how Proud Boys shouldn’t “wear colors” or their traditional black and yellow, at events. He testified this could help them conceal their identities in public. 

This direction was one Tarrio had handed down to members for pro-Trump rallies in November and December 2020. And the same directions came down in the group’s “New Ministry of Self Defense” channel on Jan. 6, 2021. 

That channel was created after Tarrio was arrested on Jan. 4 for burning a Black Lives Matter banner and included many of the same participants as the original Ministry of Self Defense chat like Biggs, Nordean, and Rehl. Nugent testified on cross that he told Proud Boys the original chat should be nuked. They knew police had Tarrio’s phone and they worried, he said, that chats could potentially come into law enforcement’s hands.

With Tarrio arrested, it was Proud Boy Charles Donohoe who told the “new” ministry on Jan. 6 what to do, where to meet, and importantly, not to wear colors. Less than a week before that text from Donohoe, jurors saw messages where Nugent told Proud Boys “the big thing with this event is we need to get everyone focused on the goal of the event and not getting Proud Boys their fourth [degrees].” 

In another Ministry chat dubbed “MOSD Main 2,” Nugent worked to fill the vacuum left by Tarrio’s arrest. It wasn’t his idea, he testified, but he told the group they needed to fall under Nordean. People looked up to Nordean, he said in court this week. He was a leader. It was fair, Nugent agreed, to describe Nordean as having a “heroic” reputation among Proud Boys because of his fighting skills. Namely, for his “punch heard round the world.” (Prosecutors were unable to persuade presiding Judge Timothy Kelly to admit footage featuring the punch that made Nordean famous among the far right.)

Nugent wasn’t a hero like Nordean, he testified. He was a “nobody.” 

“I’m nobody but I’m doing what I can to help my brothers,” Nugent wrote in a text on Jan. 5 in the MOSD Main 2 chat. 

They were “working a plan,” Nugent wrote. They would meet in the morning and continue on with the plan, he added. Things had clearly “went south” after Tarrio’s arrest, Nugent wrote, “but they are continuing on with it tomorrow.” 

When Mulroe asked Nugent about his use of the word “they,” Nugent said it was a “grammar mistake.” 

Though he had told Smith he couldn’t remember much, and in particular, the meeting at the AirBnB on the eve of the attack, he told Mulroe “yes” when asked if they discussed tactics for Jan. 6, including using radios, breaking into small teams and following the command’s leadership. 

“Even if you didn’t fully understand the plan, you were supposed to follow?” Mulroe asked.

“Fair statement, yeah,” Nugent replied. 

In addition to Nugent’s testimony, jurors also heard from defense witness Michale Emanuel aka Michale Graves, a former singer from the punk band The Misfits. Graves became a Proud Boy in 2020 and traveled to D.C. for Jan. 6 though he didn’t march on the Capitol. 

The only plan Graves could speak of was a plan to play a concert at an AirBnB on Jan. 5. That concert was moved to Jan. 6 after Tarrio was arrested. On the 6th, Graves sang the National Anthem at a Latinos for Trump rally in the morning, and then, he testified, he and the Proud Boys had considered going back to the AirBnB around 3 p.m. to hang out before Graves’ nighttime performance. 

Graves told defense attorneys on direct he wanted the concert because it would “keep people off the street.” Yet, despite all testimony about the concert, he told Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough on cross, he and the Proud Boys didn’t communicate on Jan. 6, really, at all. The only text he sent to Nordean on Jan. 6 was a singular “I’m safe” long after the Capitol had been breached. 

There was no apology for missing the show and no discussion otherwise found. 

When McCullough began grilling him about his conduct on social media, Graves grew defensive. He had posted messages online saying Proud Boys were having lunch when the Capitol was breached. Graves said he may have read that in a media report. 

“And you told the public that Nordean and Biggs did nothing wrong?” McCullough asked. 

Graves said so online, but in court, he conceded that maybe they had trespassed. 

“What I know is a fact is there was not some elaborate plan to take over the Capitol on Jan. 6,” he said before acknowledging that he was never part of the Ministry of Self Defense chat nor Boots on Ground chats. 

On Tuesday, the defense’s third witness, Proud Boy photographer Eddie Block took the stand, his service dog, a St. Bernard named Donald J. Trump, at his side. 

Block told defense attorneys that Proud Boys didn’t come to Washington on Jan. 6 with plans for violence or to interfere with police or the certification. 

“No sir,” he told Nordean’s attorney Nick Smith, “we were just there to get our voices heard.” 

Proud Boys only engage in violence when they need to self-defend, he said. They only brought radios to D.C.  on Jan. 6 purely because they were worried about being able to “scout antifa out” and warn each other if “antifa” were spotted. From the stand Tuesday, Block said he believes antifa had a large presence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. This has not been supported by any credible evidence. Block told jurors it was a “gut feeling.” 

A self-proclaimed documentarian, Block filmed Proud Boys, including the defendants, marching on the Capitol on Jan. 6. He thought they would get as close as they could to the barriers but not past them, he said. Appearing to play things down further, Block said for two weeks before Congress met to certify the election, “everyone was saying you gotta storm the Capitol” on social media. “Normies” would use that phrase all the time, he added. 

Prosecutors have argued that “normies” and Proud Boys alike were tapped by the defendants on Jan. 6 as “tools” of their alleged conspiracy. In effect, prosecutors have argued Proud Boys needed more muscle and more numbers than they had available to stop the certification and knew it. 

Like Nugent, Block testified that Jan. 6 was a full day of photo opportunities for the Proud Boys. Block fawned over Joseph Biggs, calling him a hero and telling jurors on Tuesday anyone would want their picture taken with the former InfoWars contributor because he had won a Purple Heart. 

As Smith guided Block through video clips from Jan. 6, the same arguments emerged: there were mysterious men in the crowd who appeared to speak to the defendants before the breach kicked off. (Ray Epps has been pointed to indirectly and directly with zeal by defense attorneys over the course of the trial but that conspiracy theory has long been debunked.) 

There was no plan, Block said, not to stop Congress and not to interfere with police. 

Under cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson, Block first said planning was non-existent and that no one prior to 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 6 invited him to film the Proud Boys. Nordean didn’t ask nor did Tarrio, he testified. They just knew he was going to be there and they knew, he said, “wherever I am, there’s cameras.”

Ultimately, he did livestream from Washington on Jan. 6. He told prosecutors he’s not made much money on his footage from that day. Unprompted, Block said he averages about $40 a month from his channel featuring Jan. 6 footage on YouTube. 

“It’s not like I’m making money on this,” he said. 

But one of the ways he could make money, Kenerson pressed, was to get his name out there.  

Agreeing easily with the prosecutor, Block replied: “That’d be correct.” 

There was nothing wrong with filmmakers or videographers trying to earn a buck for their work, Kenerson argued. Then the prosecutor shared information with jurors they might not otherwise have heard. Block drove across country from Fresno, California to Washington, D.C. to testify. He live-streamed that too and set up a fundraiser online. 

“And one of the things you said was, if you got $1,000, you would put your dog in a Donald Trump vest?’ Kenerson said. 

“Yeah,” Block said. “It’s his name. Donald J, Trump. I call him Donnie because I live in California and if I say Trump in public, someone may attack me.”

Ever the self-proclaimed adherents of self-defense, Block told jurors that Proud Boys didn’t start fights, they finished them. 

Testing that claim, Kenerson brought Block’s attention to footage from Portland, Oregon. A man with Proud Boy garb approaches a van in a parking lot. There are several men surrounding the vehicle before suddenly, a Proud Boy starts unloading a stream of chemical spray with some sort of paintball-gun-looking apparatus into the van, overwhelming the driver and forcing the person to drive off road. 

As the video played, Block testified unprompted. Again.

The van had come to the location to attack Proud Boys. The government was taking things out of context, he said.

“You’re making it look like we did something to those people. I saw the man pull in there with a can of mace,” Block said. “What were we supposed to do?” 

“You don’t start fights?” Kenerson volunteered. 

‘Right,” Block said. “We’re finishing it.” 

But at another time, it didn’t appear Proud Boys were only about “finishing” fights. Pulling up a series of text messages from Dec. 13, 2020, Kenerson asked if Block had once “concocted” a plan to lure “antifa” so Proud Boys could ambush and assault them. 

In the text chain, Block appeared livid that Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino had been stabbed the night of the Million MAGA March in D.C. just one day earlier. Bertino has since pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and testified on behalf of the prosecution last month. 

“I don’t care. I say we let me be the sacrificial lamb next time,” Block wrote. “I’ll sneak in. Get their attention on me.” 

Block, who is disabled, had 60 operations by that point and told Proud Boys that he could “take the pain.” 

“You don’t fuck with my brothers like that,” he groused. 

But he told jurors, at first, no one ever took him up on the offer.

Then Kenerson showed him where a Proud Boy identified by the handle, “RC Proud Nate” told Block: “Be live while your scooter suddenly dies right while the exact street corner you are crossing is visible.”

Block replied: “I’ll just say, don’t worry folks, I’ll catch up like I did last night.” 

Block’s testimony will resume on Wednesday at 9 a.m. and it will be left to the defense to attempt damage control after two hard days where witness testimony has withered under the Justice Department’s scrutiny. 

Update: Exhibits from Nugent’s testimony added.

Update: Correction – an earlier version of this story stated the van video from Oregon was from years prior to Jan. 6. It was from August 2021.


141 replies
  1. pdaly says:

    Thanks, Brandi. Your summary makes this court case much easier to follow, due to your ability to capture so many of the details (question and answer) and due to your commentary comparing witness testimony on direct and then under cross examination and showing how it ties back to each side’s theory of the case.

  2. Hychka says:

    No excuse, but these folks are mentally challenged and easily manipulated by the likes of Donald J Trump. Hopefully DOJ will use their prosecutions against those that fomented Jan 6.

  3. Local Oaf says:

    Thank you for this thorough reporting, Ms. Buchman, and Dr. Wheeler for supporting her.

    One nit I will mention: medals are earned and awarded, not won.

    • J R in WV says:


      Especially the Purple Heart… which is awarded for getting shot or otherwise wounded in combat.

      • Ravenous hoarde says:

        “ So by developing the Napoleonic system — the medal business — the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.”

        General Butler

        I’m no historian. The things that must be done to earn those medals leaves them feeling haunted to me.

        • Fernando Bueno says:

          Yes. I have 5 medals I “earned” in Vietnam and I buried them somewhere in the west Texas desert. Now more than 50 years later, the regrets for my part in that war remain.

  4. Vinnie Gambone says:

    The kool aid is wearing off but clans like this are still thirsty for action.
    Besides the QRF’s documented, any evidence gathered or Geo fencing tracking of the people in trees with AR15’S too smart to go through the Mags? They’re mentioned in what i think are secret service ” spotting ” transmissions.

    Seems they’ve become less than a foot note. Has there been mention of them in any cases ?

    Maybe Proud Boys and Oarhkeepers were themselves patsies, and unwiting normies , and the Ar15 toters the more serious bad guys.

    Any links to posts or attempts to ID them any body know about ? They got to slip away . They did or did t go to capitol ?

    Reminds me of song Poncho and Lefty…
    Federales always say, we could have had him anyday, we only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose. ”
    Wilk Nelson sang it , but he didnt write it.

    They did let them slip away, but LE did have their hands full, and were pre occupied. But the Ar15’s were there. And so was the pipe bomber. no link to either danger in these trials, huh. ?
    Unwitting Patsies ?
    I’d cough that info up if could skip doing time.
    These seem like boyscouts compared to pipe bombers and AR 15 Totters.
    Can/ has someone done a post about the armed aspects of the J6.
    The molotov dude ?
    How about a spread sheet on learhal arms ?

  5. Sue Sanders says:

    Thanks Brandi, I appreciate your work. Block is a liar. Henot getting attacked for saying Trump outloud. I live in California; the place is full of MAGA hats and Trump flags. That includes deep blue Sacramento. I’m amazed at the things people believe about us.

    • Brandi says:

      Yeah – it’s like saying everyone in Washington is a boogeyman lobbyist.
      Shocking for Proud Boys and their ilk to hear, I’m sure, but America is indeed full of a diverse mix of people and views, and yes, even in so-called “liberal havens” like California.

      Folks gotta travel more!

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Ironically, the leader of the white supremacist group I encountered in FL in the mid to late 90’s was from CA. I think he may have gone to high school in the Bay Area. Someone told me they thought he got in some trouble with the law for failure to pay child support there.

        But what’s really weird is the fixation he had with the Confederate battle flag that his group brought to the library in a rifle bag. They used to pledge allegiance to it in their meetings. I guess he found it useful once he moved to FL. His group was an offshoot of one originally begun by David Duke.

        Duke’s ex-wife and best friend moved to West Palm Beach, FL where they started one of the first online hate sites in the mid 90’s. That site was particularly popular during Trump’s 2016 campaign. But since then it seems the site’s owner may have lost the support of his wife and son who disavowed the beliefs promoted by the site.

        • Ravenous hoarde says:

          Has she disavowed them too? I thought it was just the son that disavowed.

          Her current sugar baron employer came up in some twitter thread that left me thinking she was still supportive of “the cause”.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            You may be right. I relied on this quote from an SPLC article:

            “[She] told the Palm Beach Post that she was “not involved with the website and [does] not agree with extremist or racially prejudiced views.”

            But it seemed sketchy. After doing a bit more research, I’ve concluded that it’s probably wiser to rely more on her actions than on her words. Her actions, as described in other sources, seem to contradict her words. Thanks for pointing this out to me!

    • Brandi says:

      Yeah – it’s like saying everyone in Washington is a boogeyman lobbyist.
      Shocking for Proud Boys and their ilk to hear, I’m sure, but America is indeed full of a diverse mix of people and views, and yes, even in so-called “liberal havens” like California.

      Folks gotta travel more!

      • harpie says:

        These People have NO interest in accuracy.

        “The Left” is their bogeyman, and there has been a recent, concerted push to rev up hatred against it by their RABBLE.

        • harpie says:

          In this CNP May 2019 CAP Update, Charlie KIRK
          used that term 30 times in 31:18 minutes
          [30x“the left”/ 33:36 – 2:18 = 31:18] [I transcribed it…ugggh]

          I also did Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS and
          [“We’re not asking you, honestly, Cleta”] MITCHELL
          who spoke just after him at the same event.

          THOMAS’s score was: 12x “the left” in 13 minutes
          I didn’t finish Cleta’s. [Who’s asking her, anyway?]

  6. harpie says:

    Here’s the beginning of Brandi’s THREAD for today:

    5:20 AM · Mar 22, 2023

    Welcome to Day 42 of the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial. I’m your host starting at 9 am ET. Proud Boy Eddie Block–and dog Donald J. Trump–will be back on the witness stand today. Not expecting dog to testify but expecting to hear much from Block.
    My report linked below: [with her trademark gorgeous cover PHOTO!]

    • harpie says:

      9:14 AM Brandi: [LOLLOL!]

      Before we begin today, Nick Smith for defendant Ethan Nordean says he has informed the government that he will not be calling two additional witnesses for Nordean.

      9:25 AM Brandi:

      Eddie Block is on the witness stand and today he is wearing a black and yellow flannel over his shirt.

      The Proud Boy colors.

      • Tom-1812 says:

        Note to self: Don’t wear your black cotton crewneck sweater over your pale yellow long-sleeved casual dress shirt ever again.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I’d suggest a more saturated yellow. And yeah, ditch the black sweater. For now, at least.

        • P J Evans says:

          They don’t normally do pale yellow; theirs is bright to chrome yellow. (You could call a pale yellow shirt “cream” or “ivory”.)

  7. DrAwkward says:

    […] his service dog, a St. Bernard named Donald J. Trump, at his side.

    A minor miracle: for the first time, it may be said in perfect sincerity that Donald J. Trump is an exemplar of unwavering loyalty and selflessness.

  8. harpie says:

    9:44 AM Brandi:

    Block testifying, unprompted, says his best friend is a police chief, he texts them regularly, I can show you on my phone, he says
    Kenerson: You were done with the cops, you couldn’t take it anymore…
    Block interrupts: Once again, I’m telling you….

    Kelly stops the crosstalk.
    Ken: You said you couldn’t take it anymore
    Block: Yeah but ppl also say they hate their mom, kids say it all the time, they don’t mean it…
    Kenerson: Sir, you did say you wanted to stomp antifa and only in self defense, correct?

  9. harpie says:

    To me, this line of questioning from Kennerson seems brutal to defense.

    10:00 AM Parloff:

    [watching VIDEO] … now PBs are east of Capitol, I think.

    Block: if we look like soldiers it’s because we are soldiers. block: we’re the new police around here]

    block: it’s called a peaceful offensive. … we train so people won’t attack us. …
    K: so you’re the new police around here? /36
    it’s just something i said. we’re hyping up the crowd.

    K: hyping up the crowd.

    10:04 Brandi:

    Block says, looking at clip, as far as I was concerned, Nordean was telling us we were going to the Capitol and going back.
    Ken: You don’t know what his purpose is in saying that?
    Block: I’m not in his brain no.
    Ken: Exactly.
    Kenerson: so you were new police around here because you were trained for war?
    Block: No we were trying to scare people off
    K: So that’s the PBs?
    Block says he’s joking and then says, we were trying to look good and hype up the crowd
    Ken: So you were trying to hype the crowd?

    • harpie says:

      Brandi’s our “fly on the wall”!

      10:09 AM Brandi [Love this! How do you DO it?]:

      I note at this moment, defendant Dominic Pezzola is turned in his chair facing Nordean.
      Pezzola, I see for a moment, rests his head in his hand, turns to look at Nordean and then Pezzola shakes his head as Block is testifying.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Great detail, thanks to Harpie and Brandi. This is what real reporting looks like.

        I hope some jurors noticed that from Pezzola as well.

        Anyway just wanted to say thanks to Brandi, Harpie and the EW team that make this possible. I say again, this place is an oasis.

      • FiestyBlueBird says:

        It’s Brandi over to Harpie with a lob to Fiesty for an easy bucket in the tip jar at Brandi’s end of the court.

        Great court awareness, Brandi.

        Thanks for letting me play. It’s an honor.

        ($ should post April 1 on Patreon; hope that works OK for the team, Marcy.)

  10. harpie says:

    10:15 AM Parloff:

    K: remember testifying about this on direct?
    objection-vague. overruled
    [video: Block saying time for him to move away, doesn’t want to overhear something.
    K: were you wearing your superman cape then?
    i’m not sure now, i forgot. /46

    K: conversation was they say he’s going to march and they want to keep him close in to the beast?
    sounds like that
    K: and that’s where you pull away because you didn’t want to overhear things.
    dont remember.
    K: here you were worried about broadcasting to Antifa?

    10:18 AM Brandi:

    Ken: Were you wearing your superman cape then?
    Block laughing: They were having a conversation sir
    K: The conversation there that was happening was, “they’re gonna keep him close to the beast?”
    B: I didn’t hear that
    K: The conversation there was, they say he;’s gonna march, they;’re gonna keep him close to the beast
    Block says he didn’t hear that
    Your testimony yesterday was you thought you would pull out…
    Block: I honestly don’t recall my testimony on here, I just left that area because they were talking about where we were going
    K: So you left that one, that time, because you were worried about broadcasting location to antifa,
    B: Thats correct
    K: But not this time?

    Block again says he isn’t a superhero, he can’t move that fast and bets Kenerson couldn’t either as an able-bodied person.

    Kenerson politely asks: Are you done?

    And Jauregui objects, decorum. Overruled.

    Kelly turns to witnes and asks: Are you done?

    Just BRUTAL.

    • harpie says:

      re: the conversation BLOCK says he shouldn’t be hearing:

      11:52 AM Brandi:

      Hernandez (For Zachary Rehl) asks Block if he went to journalism school.
      He affirms.
      Hernandez queues up video footage from scene with PBs, Nugent, Rehl, Nordean present.
      Did Rehl say anything here?
      Block says no.
      Hernandez ends.

      11:50 AM Parloff:

      H: you took courses on 1st amend?
      objection sustained
      H now showing same video of convo at food trucks where Block pulls away saying he doesn’t want to hear something.
      H: is Rehl participating in that conversation?
      no he’s not.
      Hernandez [for REHL] is done.
      Sidebar /92

      • harpie says:

        TRUMP was supposed to be BACK at the WH at 11:40 AM
        TRUMP did not even LEAVE the WH until 11:39 AM

    • harpie says:

      Part of the National Security Council chat log:
      National Security Council Chat Log

      – 12:29 PM MOGUL’s going to the Capitol…they are clearing a route now.
      – 12:30 PM they are finding the best route now.
      – 12:32 PM MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk
      – 12:32 PM They are begging him to reconsider
      – 12:46 PM current route will be 15th to F, F to 6th, 6th to Penn, Penn to the Capitol

      The rest, and some context is here:

      QUESTION: WHEN, during TRUMP’s speech, [11:57AM to 1:10 PM]
      was Mark MEADOWS sitting in the control car
      [secretively] talking on the PHONE for more than 20-25 minutes?

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Thank you for continuing to raise this Mark Meadows detour, harpie. We can only hope that your (and our) questions about it will get answered in the near(er) future.

  11. harpie says:

    10:27 AM Brandi:

    Block: I was told in journalism class, you follow the action. you’re allowed to go where the action is happening and as long as you arent’ doing any damage, you’re allowed to follow…
    k: storming the capitol?
    b: I’m a journalist sir i do what journalists do

    Kenerson plays the video again. Still, focused on lawn as large crowd, including PB and Block move closer to Cap.
    Block overheard in video: oh shit, we’re tearing it down
    Ken: Not “they are tearing it down”?
    B: Yes, i was in a group of people and its just something you say.

    Ken: you in fact believed you took over the capitol?

    Objection. relevance. overruled.

    B: This was two years ago, i may have said that
    K: Im not asking you what you said I’m asking you what you believed. you believed you took over the capitol?
    B: i wouldn’t say that. i don’t know. i cant remember what my thoughts were that day. it was 2 years ago.

    K: On 1/7/21 you believed you had taken over the Capitol?
    Block: I was just saying ‘we as the people,’ yes i did say that

    Kenerson: Were you there as a participant or a journalist?
    Block: A little bit of both

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      It seems Block has a vague notion that “I don’t remember” is a Get Out of Jail Free card whenever he feels cornered. He seems not to understand that this strategy is useful primarily when there is no record of your words and actions.

    • Hope Ratner says:

      Thanks to you all [sarcasm] I have now been unable to be productive in any way this morning because I’m glued to this feed, Brandi’s feed, Roger’s feed, and Harpie. What a delight to be a *participant* in this trial. You are all deserving of special awards for service above and beyond what any journalist (including Block) is expected to do these days. Clear, concise, accurate, and totally illuminating. Thank you!

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Yes to that, Hope Ratner. This is better than To Kill a Mockingbird’s trial scenes. Just gave it half my afternoon!

  12. harpie says:

    11:35 AM Parloff

    [incredibly long sidebar over whether Smith can elicit answer from Block to “why did you decide to testify today, sir?”] /84

    11:38 AM
    S: any reason you want to testify today?
    B: i feel these men are being wrongly accused

    move to strike […]

    11:37 AM Brandi:

    Husher off.
    Smith: Earlier you said you were subpoenaed to testify. Any other reason motivating you to testify today?
    Block: Yes sir, I believe these men have been wrongly accused.

    Kenerson, forcefully: objection!

  13. harpie says:

    12:28 PM Parloff:

    Roger Roots (Pezzola) pointing out that he just filed something today about certain jury instructions.

    Judge says he’ll try to take a look at it but all parties, including Pezzola’s then counsel, already hammered out most of their positions months ago. /106

    12:30 PM Brandi:

    Roger Roots [for PEZZOLA] says he’s filed a motion about jury instructions around the seditious conspiracy trial and Kelly reminds him, this has already been dealt with long ago.
    Roots says he’s just tyring to help the court and says he doesn’t want to see Kelly overturned on appeal.
    “Neither do I,” Kelly says.

    Done for today.

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    When I read these posts and Buchman’s Twitter threads, I am continually reminded of a post by Jay Rosen about the origins of authority in journalism.

    Ms. Buchman’s authority comes from showing up, doing the hard work of reporting, and contextualizing the trial. I’m really happy that as a supporter of this site, my contributions played a small role in enabling her to complete this mission.

  15. Jharp jharp says:

    “He had partied the night before with Nordean and other Proud Boys at an AirBnB, he testified. A lot of people drank heavily. The next morning hangovers were in abundance.”

    I’m convinced alcoholism has a big part of fueling the rage of the proud boys.

    I’ve never been part of a plot to overthrow the gov’t but it seems to be a very bad idea to get drunk the night before. Drunk enough that hangovers are remembered.

  16. harpie says:

    From the post:

    But at another time, it didn’t appear Proud Boys were only about “finishing” fights. Pulling up a series of text messages from Dec. 13, 2020, Kenerson asked if Block had once “concocted” a plan to lure “antifa” so Proud Boys could ambush and assault them.

    According to the reporting from yesterday,
    BLOCK wrote this message on 12/13/20 at 11:03 AM

    The texts are now coming in for the jury.
    On Dec. 13: so guys, i still think we should use me on the 20th, I’m an easy target and on their watch list —
    Ken: you meant antifa?
    Block: yes, as I was flying over and i was 2nd person on antifa list in dc

    Roger Parloff said “the 20th” as well.
    WHY is BLOCK talking about “the 20th?

    I don’t have a direct link, right now, but I mentioned it in yesterday’s comments, here:

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Noticed that too. Seems like in the same way the PBs “didn’t have plans” for J6, they “didn’t have plans” for the inauguration.

      I’m also disgusted by how Block exploits his disability, from his definitely anti-journalistic plan here to what seems to me like an unnecessary ploy for ingratiation/sympathy using his poor dog. I am disabled (Parkinson’s). So is my best friend, which was the reason I spent so much time in courtrooms; I was his court-approved assistant. People like Block do not make our lives–or more importantly, those of people living with far more challenging disabilities–easier.

  17. harpie says:

    Brandi retweeted Jordan Fischer

    4:01 PM · Mar 22, 2023

    NEW: Yet another wrinkle in the ongoing Proud Boys seditious conspiracy case as the defense says they’ve just learned for the first time that a witness they expected to call tomorrow has been a CHS since April 2021. Story to come, link for now [screenshot] [DOC]: https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.229063/gov.uscourts.dcd.229063.717.0_3.pdf

    • harpie says:

      Marcy with some thoughts:

      3:25 PM · Mar 22, 2023

      Note, given the timing, it seems highly likely this is Jeff Finley.

      They were continuing his case in April 2021, there are a bunch of sealed filings in his docket, and his sentencing memos went in in January.

      Remember that there was a sealed filing about a delay in his sentencing. Chutkan told Hernandez that it wasn’t about an effort to make him unavailable.

      And Finley would primarily be a witness against Rehl.

      And if it’s Finley, he was in touch with lawyers bc they kept calling him.

      • harpie says:

        The CHS is NOT Finley.
        Marcy has deleted that Tweet:

        5:27 AM · Mar 23, 2023

        I’ve deleted this tweet: The informant in question is not Finley, though the point remains: Hernandez is complaining that this CHS was not included in notice of the CHSes who were not one on Jan6.

        So she’s complaining:
        1) CHS not included on list of people who were CHSes on Jan6, but this person wasn’t one
        2) DOJ gave the notice they’re legally required (bc it’s not their witness)
        3) There’s no evidence that DOJ specifically targeted lawyers, rather than vice versa.

        • harpie says:

          Yep, Re: 3) > “CHS has been in contact”
          From the document [linked above]

          During this period of time, [“April, 2021 through at least, January 2023”] the CHS has been in contact via telephone, text messaging and other electronic means, with one or more of the counsel for the defense and at least one defendant. During this period of time, the CHS also participated in prayer meetings with members of one or more of the defendants’ families. The CHS also engaged in discussions with one of the defendant’s family members about replacing one of the defense counsel. The above may not include all the communications that were initiated by or engaged in by the CHS.

    • harpie says:

      And here’s a Roger Parloff THREAD that Brandi retweeted:

      7:30 PM · Mar 22, 2023

      In light of explosive defense motion filed this afternoon, Proud Boys trial tomorrow is postponed till Friday.
      Hearing will be held at 3pm on the motion. Govt ordered to respond to it by 1pm tomorrow. … 1/2
      [THREAD ended up being more than 2 tweets]

    • harpie says:

      The rest of Marcy’s THREAD remains!

      7:13 PM · Mar 22, 2023

      At issue is that DOJ informed the defense today that one of the witnesses they want to call (Hernandez got Finley’s report date extended a week) was an informant from 7/21-1/23.

      Note that her filing doesn’t say whether SHE called the informant or vice versa. [screenshot]

      Remember that back in September, @AramRoston published a recording of Tarrio saying he had spoken to (what is likely) Zach Rehl’s wife, and had assured himself Rehl wouldn’t flip. [link]
      [> https://www.reuters.com/world/us/exclusive-proud-boys-leader-urged-group-not-turn-each-other-riot-probe-2021-09-09/ ]

      Then there’s the whole funniness about the treatment of Aaron Whallon Wolkind.

      There’s … more funny stuff that went down in PA.
      [^^^ Eureka would be on top of this part. <3]

      Anyway, DOJ doesn't just DROP things when the head of a militia calls a guy's pregnant wife to pressure her about her spouse flipping. Nor should they.

  18. harpie says:

    Since Marcy linked to this REUTERS piece [above], I thought I’d do a TL with information from it: [It’s quite long, and there are a LOT of curse words.]

    2012 TARRIO is charged with fraud;
    TARRIO begins cooperating with FBI, “even going undercover to aid in numerous investigations.”

    2014 Court transcript shows TARRIO cooperated with FBI after being charged with fraud in 2012

    2018 TARRIO becomes Chairman of The Proud Boys


    7/26/21 [“night” per Feuer on 7/27/21] REHL’s counsel files letter with court, asking to delay Rehl’s status conference scheduled for 8/28/21 [“tomorrow” per Feuer] [which counsel is this?]

    3. Undersigned counsel for Zachary Rehl will not be prepared to proceed with the Status Hearing, as additional time is needed to confer with the Government.
    4. Undersigned counsel is in ongoing conversations with Assistant United States Attorney Luke Jones regarding developments in this case. It is Undersigned counsel’s belief that the matter can be better addressed following the conclusion of these discussions, as there are no issues that need to be addressed with the Court at this time, for purposes of the scheduled status hearing.

    7/27/21 Feuer tweets about REHL’s counsel’s 7/26/21 court filing

    https://twitter.com/alanfeuer/status/1419968118856851464 6:29 AM · Jul 27, 2021 The lawyer for Philly Proud Boy president Zach Rehl filed a not-so-terribly-unusual but nonetheless interesting letter last night asking to delay Rehl’s status conference tomorrow.

    Question is: What are the “developments” that require “ongoing conversations” with the government? [Also links to info on LAZAR and CHRISTMANN that day] [screenshot]

    7/27/21 [“Morning”] TARRIO [says he] speaks with REHL’s wife [phone]

    7/27/21 TARRIO [says he] speaks with “one of the lawyers” [phone]

    7/27/21 TARRIO to Proud Boys LEADERS [audio message]:

    So, Zach had court tomorrow. His lawyer asked for a continuance because there’s not enough, ahh, they keep searching for evidence and ahh the status hearing would be pointless. So, they asked for a reschedule. A NYT reporter [FEUER] put out a tweet saying ah that he, he’s talking or cooperating with the feds. [NOTE: This is NOT what Feuer said.] This is not true, and um, if there’s anybody that’ll hold fast, it’s fvckin’ Zach. So, this being brought up, um, it’s fine to question things, but I just want you guys to know that, ah, the truth. I got off the phone with Zach’s wife today, in the morning.

    Um, I also got off the phone with one of the lawyers. So, it’s important, and I’ll tell you why it’s important. Um. If this hits the media, it’s automatically going to be fvcking assumed that this is true. The bigger problem with that is, the guys that are in prison right now are holding onto hope that everybody is fvcking staying put, because they didn’t do anything wrong. [< whiff of STONE] The moment that they think that one of the guys flipped, it throws everything off, and it makes everybody turn on each other. And, that’s what we’re trying to fvckin’ avoid. Until, I don’t see like hard evidence of one of these guys fvckin’ flipping on the others. Like dudes, we gotta support these guys a hundred and fvckin’ fifty percent. We can’t, like, let little fvckin’ rumors, or little birdies get involved with like their, their morale. We need them at their highest fvckin’ morale when they go through this. So, the moment that you see this message, challenge it every fvcking time.

    8/27/21 Reuters asks TARRIO about the July audio message

    8/27/21 TARRIO to Proud Boys LEADERS: [private message]:

    You know, it’s hard enough to fight the fvckin entire government. It’s media, all this bullshit. To have to worry about dudes in here fvcking putting you in felony territory. Not just regular felony, like a serious felony.

    9/6/21 TARRIO begins serving 155 day sentence in BLM banner burning case

    9/9/21 [approx] “New” REHL counsel, MOSELEY to REUTERS:

    initially said he was unaware of the Tarrio messages and of his phone conversation with Rehl’s wife. He called later to add that he had learned the call did indeed take place and said he discussed the matter with Rehl’s wife.

    “It was about the stories that he [Rehl] might flip,” Moseley said of the call. Moseley declined to comment on behalf of Rehl’s wife, saying he is not her lawyer. But he noted that she does not share her husband’s “activism.”

    Rehl, he added, is not cooperating with the investigation.

    • Vinnie Gambone says:

      If convicted and sentenced i wonder if Rehl, or any of these seems to me cos players will do any soul searching, say around Christmas time when you are not there to watch your kids open their presents.
      Well, at least Trump paid their legal bills, – that’s good.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Everyone should read the thread. If for no other reason than it features Norm “Lucky to still have my law license” Pattis outraged about supposed government misconduct in this trial. Not that I think the DoJ’s work on this case has been all that impressive. They’ve screwed up a couple of times. But …

        “I’ve lost confidence in the process,” Pattis told Judge Kelly, further suggesting there may be call for sanctions.
        The government saying it had done nothing wrong was a “little too rich for my blood,” Pattis said.

        I was literally laughing out loud when I read that.

  19. harpie says:

    9:28 AM Brandi:

    [Kelly]: I suggest we proceed with the witness you all expected to proceed with today and then take up issues with the other witness after that, Kelly says.

    The other witness, it sounds, would be the female informant [CHS] in play here: [> https://twitter.com/Brandi_Buchman/status/1638972810365157378 ]

    Sabino Jauregui for Tarrio argues that he wants the informant witness to go first because “she’s under pressure” and Norm Pattis, for Joe Biggs, says he thinks she could bail on testimony next week if she doesnt appear today.

    • harpie says:

      9:26 AM Parloff:

      Nayib Hassan and Sabino Jauregui (both Tarrio) are pushing hard to call a different witness first … even tho the different witness (apparently CHS-SA) requires resolving some preliminary issues. Tarrio’s team seems to fear that CHS-SA may get cold feet if we don’t get done with her first, so they want to call her first. … /28

      AUSA McCullough: there are issues that needs to be resolved in terms of scope of direct and scope of cross of this witness, including whether any of these allegations of govt misconduct are going to be raised & issues about the witness’s “status.” Let’s come back to this …

      after we excuse the jury [today]. We don’t believe defense has complied with their [discovery obligations with respect to CHS-SA]. The way to make best use of jury’s time is to put the [uncontroversial] witness on the stand, then release jury, and then discuss all this.

  20. harpie says:

    9:46 AM Brandi:

    And we begin. Leading direct examination of the first witness for Henry “Enrique” Tarrio is Nayib Hassan.

    Hassan begins. He welcomes the witness: George Mesa aka Asher Mesa aka Ash Barkoziba.
    I’m a convert to Judaism and when you do, you get another name. I lived in Israel, I’m Asher. In America I’m George.
    Do you consider yourself a rabbi?
    I went to rabbinical school in Israel

    9:54 Parloff:

    i became PB. during time of riots, i saw that only group protecting americans were the PBs.
    found a documentary on Vice about them. contacted them. around June/July 2020.
    my views are consistent with PBs regarding constitution & love of country.

    i was 3d degree PB on J6. was in the Vice City chapter in South FL. Enrique belonged to that chapter.
    not a PB today.
    right now the org doesn’t really exist. we turned on each other. i was booted out of the club. many PBs tried to distance selves from

  21. harpie says:

    10:07 AM Brandi:

    Barkoziba also says there’s a Proud Boys chapter in Israel.

    10:17 AM Parloff:

    rally in daytime. we were supporting our candidate. when they went back to hotel rooms, then news started reporting about news like antifa targeting conservatives walking back to their cars. incident at the Willard. we received a text that we were going to aid the situation.

    • harpie says:

      10:22 AM Brandi:

      In Dec. 2020, Barkizoba says there were probably 500 to 800 antifa and just 350 PBs.
      Did PBs actively seek antifa?
      First, Barkizoba says “I would never chase after antifa”
      but then says “we weren’t there looking for antifa.”
      10:22 AM H: You said your view. explain.
      B: My view was more sophisticated. We should always back law enforcement but at many of these rallies we saw cops aiding antifa. So as a blanket rule, we shouldn’t say every officer is in some way guiltless but we endorse law and order as a tenet

    • harpie says:

      10:33 AM Brandi:

      Barkoziba reads it through and explains it jurors:
      “There was mass confusion 2 previous times we went to DC and not knowing who was who. This led to 2 of our members being stabbed and I felt that if there wasn’t some sort of marker to be able to tell a PB from a non-PB…

    • harpie says:

      10:35 AM Brandi:

      Like so many of the Oath Keepers in the first seditious conspiracy trial, we have a witness in this Proud Boys trial saying he was security but had no license to be a security guard.

    • harpie says:

      Note to self:
      TARRIO was slated to speak from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Latinos for TRUMP event near the Capitol [I think that was Area 8] [Bianca GRACIA]

      10:46 AM Brandi:

      Barkoziba says he arrived at Capitol on 1/6 around 1:45 p.m. and didn’t see any Proud Boys there.

      10:46 AM Brandi:

      When you returned to Capitol a 2nd time, what did you do?
      B: I went to same spot. Segment of Capitol we were at wasn’t breached.

      • harpie says:

        Brandi links to Capitol Hunters:
        10:07 AM · Mar 24, 2023

        Since George Meza aka #RabbiPB is testifying for the defense in the Proud Boys trial, let’s remember that on Jan 6 he watched the brutal attacks on the Columbus Doors. Here he is at 2:38 PM, 8s before the breach and 2s after. You can see his Israeli flag patch. 1/

        In the morning, George Meza was at the Lot 7 rally, like the other Proud Boy defense witness Michale Graves (who opened for the convicted Stewart Rhodes). Here is Meza with Joshua Macias, arrested for bringing guns to a Philly vote-counting center. 2/ [THREAD]

      • harpie says:

        10:37 AM Parloff:

        Hassan now showing him the agenda for the day. shared in PBs security chat [the document is dated J4]

        agenda was to meet at 9am on Supreme Court steps. … 10am to noon at Freedom Rally.”
        that’s when Tarrio was supposed to speak (10-noon)
        Hassan now showing a publicity flier for that rally. [address is 300 First Street NE.]

        [harpie: < THIS is the location where Roger STONE was gathering people for 3:30 PM – -he never showed up there. At some point, Secret Service mentioned that TRUMP was also planning on being at the Capitol at 3:30 PM]

        Tarrio not shown on the flier. but Bianca told us in the chat–Tarrio and Bianca are undetachable — that Tarrio would speak. flier does says "and other patriots" would speak.
        I went to Capitol on J6 around maybe 1:45pm. Did not run into PBs there. Communications–cell phones weren't working […]

  22. harpie says:

    Cross examination is now taking place

    11:09 AM Brandi:

    Now cross of George Meza/Ash Barkoziba by AUSA Jason McCullough.
    McC: You joined PBs because you were someone who wanted to do something about what you were seeing.
    Not someone afraid to get your hands dirty? Includes physical violence?

    11:05 AM Parloff:

    Judge Kelly back.
    AUSA McCullough beginning cross of Tarrio witness George Mesa (a/k/a Rabbi Barkizoba).

    McC eliciting that Mesa joined in 2020 because he was interested in doing something about issues in America. somebody not afraid to get hands dirty. /82

  23. harpie says:

    11:06 AM Parloff:

    McC: that sometimes includes political violence?
    witness: yes.
    McC: joined because of riots?
    the burning of bldgs.
    McC: relating to racial injustice?
    that’s how it was presented.

    11:11 AM Brandi:

    You said PBs saw themselves in a war w/antifa?
    Bar: Yes
    McC: A civil war?
    Barkoziba: Somewhat of a peaceful civil war, yes

    McC: That included going out and looking for antifa?
    Bar says only after PBs learned antifa had engaged in an attack would they go looking for them
    McC: So after they’d learn this, PBs would take to street and seek out antifa to attack them?
    Hernandez (For Rehl) objects. Sidebar
    Sidebar over.
    McCullough asks again: PBs viewed themselves in a war with antifa?
    For the most part yes, Barkoziba says.

    • harpie says:

      11:18 AM Brandi:

      Husher off.
      McCullough: You and Vice City PBs were motivated by defending election integrity?
      Objection, scope and speculation. Overruled.

      Bar: Not defending election integrity. We were there because ppl believed the ballot box may have been tampered with but we didn’t have any plans to alter the conclusion of whatever may have been decided upon.

      McC: You believed the election may have been stolen?
      Barkoziba: Not necessarily. The avg person could come to conclusion there’d been tampering and i think decent people could disagree if that tampering resulted in Donald Trump losing.

      McC: You previously said there was no denying there was election tampering?
      B: Correct
      McC: You personally believe there was election tampering?
      B: Yes but I am a bit agnostic on the idea itself that this is what caused Trump to lose

      You sought to keep Donald Trump in power?
      Objection overruled
      You believe Trump was rightful winner?
      Objection overruled
      I do

      Barkoziba: We were doing what any other patriot was doing – supporting their candidate. We were going to abide in whatever was decided upon.

    • harpie says:

      11:40 Brandi: [re: 12/12/20]

      Barkoziba says that night, hanging around Harry’s Bar in DC, there was a lot of alcohol flowing and people were bored.
      “Yes, people were bored and stabbings occurred,” he testifies.

      AUSA Jason McCullough repeats it back to Barkoziba:
      Proud Boys were bored. And stabbings occurred?
      Barkoziba: That’s not necessarily related

      Sidebar for a few brief moments.
      M: When the commotion took place, you focused your attn on it?
      B: Not necessarily there was so much commotion I ddnt find out about the stabbing until after the fact?
      Who’d you find out from?
      Ppl were saying that ppl got stabbed. IDK in partic.

      • harpie says:

        11:39 AM Parloff:

        didn’t see the incident
        McC: your understanding that the person had been confronted by the PBs?
        McC moves certain lines of the exhibit into evidence.
        [Judge reserves ruling]

        McC: and based on what you’ve heard, you didn’t understand that individual to be Antifa, right?

        McC: you were standing in the street that evening?
        McC: when commotion took place you focused your attention on it?
        not necessarily. didn’t find out on stabbing till after the fact.
        [objection overruled]
        people were saying someone got stabbed.
        McC: in material you just reviewed, how did you come to learn about the circumstances surrounding that night?
        objection overruled
        from what people were telling me there. don’t remember who. another PB most likely.

    • harpie says:

      11:43 AM Brandi:

      Sidebar for a few brief moments.
      M: When the commotion took place, you focused your attn on it?
      B: Not necessarily there was so much commotion I ddnt find out about the stabbing until after the fact?
      Who’d you find out from?
      Ppl were saying that ppl got stabbed. IDK in partic.

      Somebody told me someone was stabbed and I– I saw the ambulances and learned someone had been stabbed.

      Objection. Kelly, forcefully, he can answer the question. He’s asking how.
      Objec. Kelly, forcefully, again, “he can answer how!”

    • harpie says:

      My goddess! These overinflated egos!

      11:53 Parloff:

      you have bunch of guys who put their lives on line to help ordinary americans, so you had a lot of lockerroom talk.

      11:58 AM Brandi:

      You have a bunch of tough guys who stood up for the innocent, you’re going to have a lot of poetic, symbolic stmts in what I would consider is our version of a locker room, which is, the chat room

      11:58 AM Brandi [LOL!]:

      McCullough: When you’re on the receiving end of violence, do you feel better when its just hyperbole?
      Objection. Sustained.
      Sidebar. Husher on.

      • harpie says:

        12:00 PM Parloff:

        [Jauregui smiling & McC doing most of talking, so it looks like McC may lose whatever this one’s about.] /118

    • harpie says:

      12:12 PM [Fly on the wall] Brandi:

      Husher off.
      Now, McCullough pulls up MOSD chat from 1/3 showing Gabriel PB: 1776 flag flying over WH last night
      That’s Gabriel from Vice City?
      I was kicked out of MOSD by this time. So didn’t have access to what was going on on the 3rd
      McCullough smiles.

      McCullough: You believe you were kicked out?
      Barkoziba isn’t so sure now.
      By the time this photo was shared, he thinks he was kicked out so I can’t say if it was a true post or not.
      You were kicked out of MOSD?

      Parloff has a screenshot here:
      12:10 PM · Mar 24, 2023

      McC: you’re sure you were kicked out before J6?

      McC: “so are normies … going to push thru police lines and storm the capitol bldgs?”
      McC: you didn’t see that?
      no, never seen it. [screenshot]

      “what would they do if 1mm patriots stormed and took capitol”?
      i did not see that message

    • harpie says:

      12:19 PM Brandi:

      McCullough: You said you policed the chat?
      For racist comments?
      Barkizoba: Yes
      And you took your concerns to Tarrio? Told him you didn’t agree with them?
      Barkizoba affirms to both. Tarrio “sympathized” with him, but it wasn’t a priority. Tarrio told him they’d deal w/it later

      So, McCullough says, the PB bylaws/rules said racists weren’t permitted in the group? Not supposed to be antisemitic.
      Barkizoba: Correct
      McCullough: But that’s not what you experienced?
      Objection. Sidebar. Husher on.

      12:21 PM Parloff:

      McC: you did not believe that the racist/antisemitic language was consistent with bylaws?
      McC: you raised it with Tarrio?
      one or 2 times. not that prevalent
      McC: you raised in chats and it wasn’t addressed?
      it was addressed. enrique didn’t have power to kick people out at national level.

      McC: you were kicked out of MOSD?
      McC: because you were making these complaints about antisemitic comments?
      never given explanation.

    • harpie says:

      12:26 PM Parloff:

      McC showing him a photo of himself & 2 other people on morning of J6 & what he was wearing.
      It’s Mesa on left with a radio on his chest. He’s standing next to “the Greek”. he has a radio.
      McC: Greek was in vice city chapter on plane to Nov rally?
      yes. now i remember had radio to talk to bianca’s security. there were many different stages. but couldn’t always communicate. we never used these radios. radios given to us by the 3d guy, but we never figure out how to use them.

      McC: guy on right is who?
      josh Macias.
      McC: he was in bianca’s …

      12:33 PM Brandi:

      McCullough: In your testimony, you said you didn’t have contact with anybody?
      Barkoziba trips over his testimony and then says yes it was so they could do security for Bianca Gracia. then he says we were guarding the stage.

      Barkoziba: we never used the radios
      McC: so you have the radio just in case you need to get in touch with the greek?
      B: these radios were given to us by a 3rd guy but we never figured out how to use it.

      McCullough asks Baroziba to ID who is standing next to him and the greek in the photo with the radios.
      B: its Josh Macias.
      Mc: Josh Macias was in the hotel?
      B: possibly

      Lunch til 1:30.

      • harpie says:

        The end of Parloff’s tweet answers the Macias hotel room question:

        McC: guy on right is who?
        josh Macias.
        McC: he was in bianca’s …hotel room?

  24. harpie says:

    The Judge and lawyers are back in court, no jury, yet. They’re discussing the fact that witness saw MACIAS in GRACIA’s hotel room, and DOG wants to show him a photo of RHODES and SORELLE, who were ALSO there. Kelly isn’t going for it, I think.

    1:45 PM · Mar 24, 2023

    1:45 PM · Mar 24, 2023

    Scroll up from there, and you’ll see the further discussion about the defense witnesses.

    • harpie says:

      1:59 PM Brandi:

      McCullough tells Kelly the witness posts to chat with PBs that it was “planned in our hotel room the night before by Oath Keepers and III%ers”

      Nick Smith says that this detail is exculpatory because this case isn’t about OKers or III%ers.
      In chat shown to Kelly, it says, “I’m thrilled with what happened and don’t know why ppl keep saying it was antifa/BLM. it was planned in hotel rm day before by OKers and III%ers”

      This was extracted from Gabriel Garcia’s phone, McCullough tells Kelly.

      Kelly reviews the message and the photos and says
      “I’ve changed my mind.”

      Smith still fighting it.

      Kelly: Its an implication we planned it with them.
      Smith: He doesn’t say also, he says it happened in our room. if he observed something happening, why would the implication be that- —
      Kelly: I think we get to ask the question and its fair cross-examination

    • harpie says:

      2:10 PM Parloff:

      McC: separated under other-than-honorable discharge to avoid court-martial?

      now returning to J6
      McC: you went to stage–12-15 min from capitol?
      McC: spent entire morning there?

      2:11 PM Brandi:

      Mc: You testified that you provided security on morning of 6th?
      And at the stage?
      That’s the point of a rally yes.
      Other attendees? You, the Greek and another were providing security?

      McCullough elicits from Barkoziba that PBs never helped him with security or came to him to assist.
      Bar: I couldn’t verify who was there, if they were there, I couldn’t really describe them.
      Mc: You never saw a large group of PBs come to your rally site, did you?
      Barkoziba: Not that I remember
      McCullough: And you were just 12-15 mins from Capitol?

    • harpie says:

      2:22 PM Parloff:

      McC: you believe people who went inside are heroes?
      yes i do.
      McC: in your view breaking into capitol is legitimate form of political protest?
      i believe protesting at that moment the whole country no one knew what was happening. …

      after the fact yes i think what happened classifies these people as heroes.
      McC: you believe they’re heroes because one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist?
      McC: you posted a statement describing your views following J6?
      objections overruled
      dont remember

      McC showing him an exhibit
      Hernandez and Hassan asking for sidebar
      sidebar /169

      2:25 PM Brandi:

      AUSA McCullough: You think the ppl that went inside the bldg that day are heroes, correct?
      Objection. Overruled.
      Barkoziba/Meza: I don’t think at that time they were doing anything wrong.
      Mc: You believed the people who went inside that bldg on Jan. 6 are heroes?
      B: Yes I do.

      McCullough: In your view, breaking into the Capitol is a legitimate form of protest?
      Objection overruled.
      I believe protesting at that moment, the whole country —
      Mr. Meza if I can just stop you –
      Objection. permitted to answer.

      Barkoziba/Meza: No one knew what was happening anywhere around there. After the fact, I think what occurred classifies these individuals as heroes in my mind.
      McCullough: That’s because you distinguish between what may be moral or legal
      Objection. Sustained.

      McCullough: You believe those men were heroes because one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist?
      objection. sustained.

    • harpie says:

      2:38 PM Parloff: [!!!]

      [McC]: [Witness] believes that these guys are heroes.
      Hassan: at no point in video does he mention PBs.
      McC: I’m not sure when i’ll get into this, but he was in the MOSD chats thru J6. didn’t get kicked out until after. as a factual matter, he was involved in these chats. /175

    • harpie says:

      3:43 PM · Mar 24, 2023

      AUSA McC: once you hear the recording i think you will be in a much better position to judge whether there’s any good-faith basis for inquiring about whether she invaded the defense camp. was not reporting on PBs, would never report on PBs. would only report on “our side.” /204

      It’s a 36 minute recording. you’ll hear the back-and-forth. i think some of the questions you’ll hear would be inappropriate to come out before the jury. suggestion that govt outed you. didn’t even give you the courtesy of a heads-up before doing this or that. you’ll hear it /205

      McC: Mr. Jauregui is very good–and i say this very warmly–at insinuating things with his body with his voice. i don’t want insinuation that govt’s done something improper thru the questions.

      Judge: what was the original–what’s her testimony that we haven’t discussed. /206

      Jauregui: she was there on J6, watching trump speech. i think she was going to give a speech. trump went long. at one point she’d been in Latinos for Trump.

      • harpie says:

        Jordan Fischer:
        3:20 PM · Mar 24, 2023

        And so, after all that, everybody is now fine with calling the witness and nobody seems to think an evidentiary hearing is necessary.

        Now that they’ve gotten over the surprise, the defense actually seems pretty OK with the witness being a CHS. Tarrio’s attorneys appear to think that will bolster their case that no CHS ever reported a plan to the FBI.

        This person was not actually a CHS on Jan. 6 and was, according to the DOJ, never tasked with collecting info about the Proud Boys or their defense team. But Tarrio’s attorneys say they believe there may have been *some* kind of relationship with FBI going back to 2019.

        DOJ says Jauregui did a thorough interview of the witness and “elicited up and down” that this person would never report about the Proud Boys. In fact, said they would “never report on our side.” What did they report on? “Antifa and the border.”

      • harpie says:

        I should have added Fischer’s tweet just before this in the thread:

        3:19 PM · Mar 24, 2023

        Roger Roots says he doesn’t believe he, co-counsel Steven Metcalf or Dominic Pezzola have ever talked to the witness. A little odd, since yesterday Roots said he thought one or two names on their witness list had come from this person.

        I just want to remind myself to find that,
        since my brain is mush and I don’t remember it
        from the day before yesterday. :-/

        • harpie says:

          This is where he tweeted that:
          6:46 PM · Mar 23, 2023

          The Proud Boys defense isn’t exactly satisfied w/ that answer. Dominic Pezzola’s attorneys say the CHS suggested witnesses and @PattisNorm said he thinks they had extensive talks w/ Joe Biggs.

          “Now I’ve got somebody with their nose in my tent talking to my client,” Pattis said.

          It’s in this story at WUSA9:
          DOJ: Informant was never asked about Proud Boys or their attorneys Prosecutors said the fears about an invasion of the defense team in the Proud Boys’ seditious conspiracy trial were “baseless.”

  25. harpie says:

    Just putting this here to catch up with at some point [retweeted by Marcy]:

    1:59 PM · Mar 21, 2023

    NEW: Caught up with Mike “Whip” Greene, the security contractor who avoided a felony conviction in the third Oath Keepers trial.

    “I’m not, in my mind, thinking ‘Hey, if I take this job, they’re gonna fucking storm the Capitol,’ you know?”

    “Stewart says outlandish shit.” [VIDEO][THREAD]

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