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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers a Statement Following the Jury Verdict in the Proud Boys Trial


Washington, DC
United States

Statement as Delivered

Today, the Justice Department secured the conviction of four leaders of the Proud Boys for seditious conspiracy related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

In addition, those defendants and a fifth member of the Proud Boys were all convicted of felonies including obstructing Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election results and conspiring to prevent Congress and federal officers from discharging their duties.

The evidence presented at trial detailed the extent of the violence at the Capitol on January 6th and the central role these defendants played in setting into motion the unlawful events of that day.

Today’s verdict makes clear that the Justice Department will do everything in its power to defend the American people and American democracy.

Since the January 6th attack, the Justice Department has conducted one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations in our history.

We have worked to analyze massive amounts of physical and digital data. We have recovered devices, decrypted electronic messages, triangulated phones, and pored through tens of thousands of hours of video.  

We have also benefited from tens of thousands of tips we received from the public. Following these digital and physical footprints, we were able to identify hundreds of people who, often masked, took part in the unlawful conduct on that day.

I am grateful to the Department’s prosecutors, FBI agents, investigators, analysts, and others who have worked on these cases with extraordinary diligence, skill, integrity, and courage.

Over the past two years, the Department has secured more than 600 convictions for a wide range of criminal conduct on January 6th, as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.

We have secured the convictions of defendants who fought, punched, tackled, and even tased police officers who were defending the Capitol that day; who crushed one officer in a door and dragged another down a flight of stairs; who attacked law enforcement officers with chemical agents that burned their eyes and skin; and who assaulted officers with pipes, poles, and other dangerous or deadly weapons.

We have secured the convictions of defendants who obstructed the certification of a presidential election as well as the subsequent criminal investigation in the events of January 6th.

And now – after three trials – we have secured the convictions of leaders of both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy – specifically conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power.

Our work will continue.

At my Senate confirmation hearing just over a month after January 6th, I promised that the Justice Department would do everything in its power to hold accountable those responsible for the heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.

And as I have said repeatedly, the Department will conduct all of its work in a manner that adheres to the rule of law and honors our obligation to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of everyone in this country.

Today’s verdict is another example of our steadfast commitment to keeping those promises.

The Justice Department will never stop working to defend the democracy to which all Americans are entitled.

National Security
Violent Crime
Updated May 4, 2023