Charles Donohoe has agreed to testify against others in the far-right Proud Boys group at the forefront of the 2021 Capitol riots.
A leader of the far-right group Proud Boys pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the attack on the US Capitol, a victory for prosecutors that could bolster their cases against members of the group.
Charles Donohoe, the leader of the group’s North Carolina chapter at the time of the Capitol attack, pleaded guilty during a court hearing Friday in the District of Columbia.
Donohoe admitted conspiring to obstruct official proceedings and assaulting and impeding police officers.
He became the second member of the proud boys plead guilty to conspiring with other members of the group to prevent Congress from formally certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Under US sentencing guidelines, Donohoe faces a probable sentence of about six years in prison, with credit for time already served. He will be sentenced at a later court hearing.
Donohoe has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they prepare for trial against other Proud Boys defendants. Donohoe, 34, was arrested in March 2021. He has been in custody since last year.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed Congress that day in an attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss.
Donohoe and other Proud Boys were caught on video leading a crowd toward the Capitol during the riot. More than three dozen people charged in the Capitol siege have been identified by federal authorities as leaders, members or associates of the Proud Boys.
“Mr. Donohoe is charged with interfering with the peaceful transfer of power to the nation,” US District Judge Timothy Kelly said during a court hearing in June, adding that the charges are “very serious matters that warrant arrest.”
An indictment unsealed last month alleged that Proud Boys President Enrique Tarrio was deeply involved in recruiting members of the group and directing their actions in the days leading up to the January 6 attack.
Tarrio’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf during a hearing on Tuesday.
Matthew Greene, in New York, became the first member of the Proud Boys to plead guilty to conspiracy in December. He agreed to cooperate with authorities as part of a plea deal.
On the morning of January 6, members of the Proud Boys gathered at the Washington Monument and marched on Capitol Hill before President Donald Trump finished addressing thousands of supporters near the White House.
About two hours later, just before Congress called a joint session to certify the election results, a group of Proud Boys followed a crowd of people who broke through barriers at a pedestrian entrance to the Capitol grounds, according to a of the accusations. Several Proud Boys also entered the Capitol after the mob smashed windows and forced doors, the indictment says.
As of Jan. 6, 2021, more than 775 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the US Capitol breach, officials said.
In a separate hearing Friday, a different judge refused to postpone a scheduled trial for some members of the Oath Keepers group who joined in the Capitol breach. Those defendants are charged with seditious conspiracy, a rarely used law that bars attempts to overthrow the government.
Defense attorneys had requested the delay, saying they needed more time to review the evidence. But US District Judge Amit Mehta cited his own scheduling conflicts and the need to bring the cases to trial.
Lawyers also suggested that all 11 Oath Keepers defendants go to trial at the same time. Mehta said the proposal was logistically impossible in federal court for the District of Columbia.