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Leading Proud Boys member pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges

WASHINGTON — A leader of the far-right Proud Boys pleaded guilty on Friday to charges related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a court filing, a victory for prosecutors that could bolster their cases against members of the group.

Charles Donohoe, the leader of the group’s North Carolina chapter at the time of the Capitol attack, entered the guilty plea during court hearing on Friday in the District of Columbia.

Donohoe admitted to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding — a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He also admitted to assaulting and impeding police officers.

Under sentencing guidelines, Donohoe faces a likely sentence of around six years in prison, with credit for time already served. He will be sentenced at a later court hearing.

Jan. 11, 202206:53

Donohoe agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they prepare for trial against other Proud Boys defendants.

Donohoe, 34, was arrested in March 2021 and charged with conspiring to impede federal officers protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and obstructing an official proceeding, among other charges. He has been in custody since last year.

Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the seat of Congress that day in a bid to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Donohoe and other Proud Boys were videotaped leading a crowd toward the Capitol during the riot. In court filings, the Department of Justice said they helped lead the break in of the Capitol. The men dispute the charges.

“Mr. Donohoe is charged with interfering in the nation’s peaceful transfer of power,” Kelly said during a court hearing in June, adding that the charges are “gravely serious matters that favor detention.”

An indictment unsealed last month alleged that Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio was deeply involved in recruiting members of the group and directing their actions in the days prior to the Jan. 6 attack.

Tarrio’s attorney entered the not guilty plea on his behalf during a virtual hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.