Did the Government Frame The Proud Boys?

The defense claims the government planted manufactured evidence on Enrique Tarrio and other Proud Boys defendants to frame them. A court motion charges “outrageous government wrongdoing” with regard to a key document.

An explosive defense motion says that the most damaging piece of evidence in the prosecution of five members of the Proud Boys was fabricated by the U.S. intelligence establishment and used to frame defendant Enrique Tarrio and others for crimes allegedly committed on January 6.

The motion, filed on February 10 by Dominic Pezzola’s counsel, requests that U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly declare a mistrial owing to “outrageous government wrongdoing.”

The debate includes a paper titled “1776 Returns,” which federal prosecutors claim was a plan for the Proud Boys’ January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. According to the defense counsel, there is no proof that Tarrio opened, read, or transmitted this paper.

“Government-Initiated Program”

The government itself apparently authored the most damning and incriminating document in this case, Roger Roots wrote in an eight-page court filing. They did it to frame or implicate Tarrio in a government-created plot to storm Capitol buildings. Moreover, the document was mysteriously sent to Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio before January 6.

Tario, Pezzola, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, and Joseph Biggs are charged in this specific matter. On January 6, the Proud Boys defendants were accused of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to impede official processes, obstruction of official proceedings, and conspiracy to prohibit certain federal officers from exercising their responsibilities. Tarrio, Rehl, Nordean, and Biggs are each charged with nine criminal offenses, while Pezzola faces ten.

Judge Kelly’s courtroom is going onto its fifth week of the trial.

On February 9, FBI Special Agent Peter Dubrowski testified that Erika Flores, a “former romantic interest,” provided the “1776 Returns” document to Tarrio over the messaging app Telegram on or around December 29, 2020.

The PDF file reveals intentions to “Storm the Winter Palace,” which alludes to the 1917 Russian revolution. According to the petition, Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe gathered testimony from Dubrowski that the paper indicated a strategy to lay siege to Capitol Hill by strategically capturing most congressional office space around the Capitol.

Samuel Armes, a member of the U.S. intelligence community, told the now-defunct House Select Committee on January 6 that elements of “1776 Returns” were drawn from a paper he produced in August or September 2020 to lay out potential scenarios if the 2020 presidential election resulted in turmoil.

Armes, who has worked for the U.S. State Department and the Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, stated to the Select Committee that he provided Flores with a copy of his war game scenario sheet Armes first encountered Flores in an online bitcoin club in 2017, according to his testimony.

Armes said he was “groomed to join the CIA and FBI” at the University of South Florida. He informed the Select Committee that he was not the author of “1776 Returns,” but a portion of his wargame material was used in the book.

File Sent to Tarrio

Flores informed the Select Committee on January 6 that Armes drafted the whole “1776 Returns” paper and instructed her to submit it to Tarrio, according to the defense motion. Armes denied authorship when he appeared before the Select Committee on July 18, 2022, and accused Flores of shifting responsibility and “throwing me under the bus.”

According to the official hearing record, Armes stated that he could confidently say he had never seen this paper in his life. It employs a material he mentioned, but he had never heard the name before. According to Armes, he supposes the easiest way to put it is that he is “just a scapegoat.”

Armes stated that he met Tarrio “maybe twice” in person through Flores but that Tarrio was not his friend. Armes told a committee on January 6 that he was never interested in having any relationship with Tarrio since he knew what he stood for and represented.

According to defense counsel Roots, if Flores’ evidence concerning “1776 Returns” is accurate, it would indicate that the intelligence community wrote someone “groomed” by the FBI and wrote the most damaging document in this trial. Immediately before January 6, this CIA and FBI asset requested that Flores share the paper with Tarrio.

The move requests an expedited evidentiary hearing to determine the origin and authorship of “1776 Returns,” which Judge Kelly ruled in December 2022, could be included as evidence at the trial. 

The solution, according to Roots, would be a “mistrial and dismissal of the entire case with prejudice.” If the Judges dismiss the trial with prejudice, the government will be unable to pursue the Defendants on the charges.   

Roots stated this is “either entrapment, outrageous government conduct, or both.” Equally improper, it is a Brady violation since the Department of Justice must have been aware of these disclosures before putting Special Agent Dubrowski on the witness stand on February 9 to submit this information.

There has been no response from the federal government to the motion.

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