Four members of the 'Proud Boys' organisation were charged by a federal grand jury with conspiring to impede Congress on 6 January, a new superseding indictment unsealed on Friday shows.
According to the indictment, all four defendants are the leaders of Proud Boys divisions in their respective states: Ethan Nordean of Washington, Joseph Biggs of Florida, Zachary Rehl of Pennsylvania and Charles Donohoe of North Carolina. They were charged with conspiring to encourage members of the group to attend the "Stop the Steal" protest in Washington, DC on 6 January.
They supplied paramilitary equipment used during the storming of the Capitol, dismantled metal barriers set up around the building, and communicated using handheld radios and messaging applications, the indictment alleges.
On 6 January, hundreds of pro-Trump supporters gathered outside the US Capitol building when lawmakers were gathering inside to officially count the votes in the November 3 presidential election and announce Democrat Joe Biden the winner. The rally turned violent after an aggressive mob stormed the building, vandalised it and clashed with the police. Five people died during the event, and dozens more were injured, including 138 police officers. Law enforcement authorities have arrested hundreds of individuals who participated in the Capitol riot, charging more than 65 participants with assaulting federal officers.