A 34 year old Proud Boys leader, Charles Donohoe is from Kernersville, in Forsyth County, North Carolina, where Biden beat Trump by double digits and where residents are more vaccinated than in the state as a whole. He must have been frustrating for Donohoe and he became an organizer of the 1/6 attack on the Capitol. This morning Donohoe, who has been in jail for a full year, pleaded guilty to two felony counts with a minimum sentence of nearly six years in prison, but agreed to cooperate against his co-defendants in hopes of getting a lighter sentence. The Washington Post's Tom Jackman reported that "Donohoe is the first charged among six of the Proud Boys’ leaders, including longtime chairman Enrique Tarrio, to admit to both organizing an attack on Congress and assaulting law enforcement officers."
Donohoe is the third member of the Proud Boys group to plead guilty. On Wednesday, Jeffery Finley, president of the West Virginia Proud Boys chapter, acknowledged being part of an effort to help Trump supporters overwhelm police outside the Capitol, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of trespassing on restricted grounds, but did not agree to cooperate with the government.
Donohoe is the second Proud Boy to agree to testify against his co-defendants. In January, Matthew Greene of Syracuse, N.Y., admitted coordinating with other New York-based members of the extremist group at the front of the Capitol mob and pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy, also hoping for a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation. As a result of their deals, no sentencing dates were set for Donohoe or Greene, pending the outcome of their testimony in both trials and grand jury hearings.
It would be tragic if just the foot soldiers of the coup face Justice and all the organizers walk away scot free-- especially Trump and his odious family and the administration officials and members of Congress who actively plotted and enabled coup. Yesterday, Jonathan Weisman reported on the efforts to hold insurrectionist members of Congress accountable through the 14th Amendment, which would make insurrectionists like Madison Cawthorn, Marjorie Traitor Greene, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, Mo Brooks, Lauren Boebert and many others ineligible for elected office.
"A legal effort to disqualify from re-election lawmakers who participated in events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol expanded on Thursday," wrote Weisman, "when a cluster of voters and a progressive group filed suit against three elected officials in Arizona to bar them under the 14th Amendment from running again. In three separate candidacy challenges filed in Superior Court in Maricopa County, Ariz., voters and the progressive group, Free Speech for People, targeted Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs and State Representative Mark Finchem, who is running for Arizona secretary of state with Trump’s endorsement."
It was unclear whether the challenges would go anywhere; an initial skirmish, also led by Free Speech for People, failed to block Representative Madison Cawthorn’s candidacy in North Carolina. But they were the latest bids to find a way to punish members of Congress who have encouraged or made common cause with those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
In all three suits, the plaintiffs claim that the politicians are disqualified from seeking office because their support for rioters who attacked the Capitol made them “insurrectionists” under the Constitution and therefore barred them under the little-known third section of the 14th Amendment, adopted during Reconstruction to punish members of the Confederacy.
That section declares that “no person shall” hold “any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath” to “support the Constitution,” had then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
A separate action is being pursued by a Democratic-aligned super PAC against Senator Ron Johnson and Representatives Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, all Wisconsin Republicans.
And on Friday, a federal judge in Atlanta will hear Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to dismiss a case filed against her to strike her from the ballot in Georgia. Unless the judge, Amy Totenberg of Federal District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, issues a temporary restraining order, an administrative law judge is set to hear arguments next Wednesday on whether Ms. Greene should be removed from the ballot.
... James Bopp Jr., a conservative election lawyer who is defending Ms. Greene and Mr. Cawthorn, said the groups ultimately could take action against as many as two dozen Republican lawmakers, hoping to establish some legal precedent for trying to bar Mr. Trump from the presidential ballot in 2024. And with enough test cases, one might succeed.
...The legal fight in the cases has come down to two questions: What is an insurrectionist, and did Congress in 1872 not only grant amnesty to those who supported and fought for the Confederacy but also to those who would take part in future insurrections, effectively nullifying Section 3?
In Cawthorn’s case, a federal judge appointed by Mr. Trump blocked an inquiry into the congressman’s role in the Jan. 6 attack by ruling that the Amnesty Act of 1872 did indeed confer amnesty on all future insurrectionists.
The judge, Richard Myers II, focused on a caveat within Section 3 of the 14th Amendment that said “Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House remove” the disqualification-- or “disability”-- for insurrection. The Amnesty Act was passed by that wide of a margin.
That ruling remains in dispute and is on appeal.
...In the run-up to Jan. 6, Gosar and Biggs repeatedly posted the falsehood that Trump had won the election. Gosar organized some of the earliest rallies to “Stop the Steal,” the movement to keep Trump in office, coordinating with Ali Alexander, a far-right activist, and with Finchem.
On Dec. 22, 2020, Gosar and Biggs met with Trump and announced they were working to prevent the “disenfranchisement” of Trump voters.
“This sedition will be stopped,” Gosar wrote on Twitter.
Finchem attended the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 that in many ways launched the attack on the Capitol. He said he was in Washington to provide evidence to Vice President Mike Pence of what he called fraud in the Arizona election. Finchem then joined protesters who marched to the Capitol and eventually breached it, though he did not enter the building.
And during the storming of the Capitol, Gosar used the social media site Parler, which is favored by the far right, to post an image of rioters scaling the building’s walls, writing, “Americans are upset.” As the riot raged, Gosar and Biggs led the effort to contest their state’s electors for Biden.
Gosar would later say that Ashli Babbitt, the rioter shot by the police just outside the House chamber, had been “executed” and that investigating Jan. 6 was “harassing peaceful patriots.”
The suits say that their actions, “taken in concert with others,” establish that they “engaged in the insurrection of Jan. 6” and are “therefore constitutionally disqualified from running for congressional office, under the disqualification clause.”
It's no coincidence that virtually every single one of the congressional coup plotters is also backing Putin against Ukraine, seemingly unconcerned with the war crimes that have Americans-- including most registered Republican voters-- extremely concerned. 58% of registered voters-- including 54% of Republicans-- consider Russia an enemy. 80% of registered voters-- including 81% of Republicans consider Russia a serious threat to the U.S. 77% of registered voters-- including 74% of Republicans-- consider Putin a war criminal.
There are dozens of Republican members of Congress-- not to mention influencers like Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump-- who are members of the Putin wing of their party and they are more in synch with the Russian public than they are with the American public when it comes to Putin.