Watch: Video exposes the 'pivotal' role Proud Boys played in the Capitol insurrection
When Washington, D.C. was invaded by far-right extremists on January 6 — the day a joint session of Congress met to certify now-President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in the 2020 election — everyone from the Proud Boys to QAnon to the Oath Keepers showed up. The Wall Street Journal has investigated the Proud Boys' activities in Washington, D.C. on January 6 and posted an 11-minute video on its findings.
The WSJ, in the video, explains, "One of the most prominent groups to storm the Capitol on January 6 was the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group whose members describe themselves as western chauvinists. The Wall Street Journal analyzed hundreds of videos from the riots, social media posts, court filings and interviewed participants in the events and experts on extremism in an effort to piece together the most complete picture of the Proud Boys' role in the events that day. The Journal's investigation shows Proud Boys coordinating, instigating and leading some of the most pivotal moments of the rush into the historic building that disrupted lawmakers' certification of the presidential election and resulted in the deaths of five people, including one police officer."
The video notes that "about seven Proud Boys" have been arrested so far in connection with the violence that rocked Washington, D.C. on January 6 and goes on to say that the group first received "mainstream attention" when then-President Donald Trump mentioned them during his first debate with Biden in late September and said, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what: somebody's gotta do something about Antifa and the left."
WSJ VISUAL INVESTIGATION: Proud Boys Were Key Instigators in Capitol Riot The Proud Boys have tried to downplay th… https://t.co/6SOK2tUgFL— Anthony DeRosa 🗽 (@Anthony DeRosa 🗽) 1611681794.0
Trump's statement during that debate, according to the WSJ, "emboldened the group." Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, in response, posted, "Standing by, sir."
Before January 6, the WSJ notes in the video, the Proud Boys' Joe Biggs posted that members of Congress "should be dragged out of office and hung." More than 100 members of the group were in Washington, D.C. on January 6, according to the video.
The Proud Boys have denied their role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building that day, claiming that although they went to Washington, D.C. to protest on January 6, they were not part of the rioting. But the WSJ's video shows members of the group, including Robert Gieswein and Dominic "Spazzo" Pezzola, breaking into the Capitol Building on January 6. And Biggs is shown inside its halls. Pezzola was arrested on January 15, and Biggs is facing charges as well.
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