It’s a significant concession for the DOJ, which had originally planned to try the riotous conspiracy case in early August. The DOJ revealed its frustration with the select committee in a court filing last week that also endorsed a delay in the Proud Boys trial. In Tuesday’s filing, the DOJ proposed to begin jury selection on Dec. 12, 2021, with opening statements to begin the week of Jan. 2, 2023.
The proposed timeline, which will be considered by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly on Wednesday, increases the likelihood that one of the two most significant cases to emerge from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will not be resolved until well after. the two-anniversary of the attack.
In its filing, the DOJ noted that former Proud Boys national president Enrique Tarrio was featured prominently at the select committee’s first public hearing on June 9, including an excerpt from a video deposition he conducted with the panel earlier this year. The committee also focused significantly on the actions and moments of Proud Boys Joe Biggs and Dominic Pezzola, the first rioter to cross the Capitol that day.
But the DOJ is even more concerned that the select committee could release new batches of information just as the trial gets underway.
“Representatives from the Committee have indicated that the relationship between the Trump administration and the Proud Boys and other groups will be the subject of a future hearing,” McCullough noted. “If the trial in this case does not proceed, the parties in this case may find themselves in the unprecedented position of arguing a criminal trial concurrent with the release of a Congressional report that may include robust descriptions of the criminal conduct of the accused. ”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who is expected to lead the hearing on the Proud Boys’ ties to Trump’s orbit, said he doesn’t think focusing on that aspect of the investigation would make any more difficult for the DOJ to prosecute the leadership of the Proud Boys.
“Many of them have already been prosecuted or have pleaded guilty,” he noted, referring to a slew of Proud Boys members charged for their role in the Capitol attack but unconnected to the Capitol. seditious conspiracy case. “Also, you know, juries that are sequestered and protected. So I think our judicial system has a lot of precautions.
When asked if the select committee should expedite the delivery of transcripts specifically related to the Proud Boys cases, Raskin noted the distinction between the DOJ’s mission and that of the select committee.
“We have a vested interest in seeing individual criminal accountability vindicated,” he said of the DOJ lawsuits, “just as we have a vested interest in seeing general political accountability restored, which is our fundamental function. We do not want to interfere with the Department of Justice in any way and hope that they will be able to fully perform the law enforcement function.
“Attorney General [Merrick] Garland is my constituent and I have no complaints about my constituents, Raskin added with a smile. “You know, I trust him to be a strong and effective prosecutor.”