Proud Boys Member Pleads Guilty and Will Cooperate in Jan. 6 Riot Inquiry – The New York Times

Supported by
Matthew Greene, 34, who was “among the first wave” to rush up the Capitol steps, pleaded guilty to two charges and agreed to cooperate with the government, federal prosecutors said.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

A Proud Boys member who was among the first to cross the police line at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty on Wednesday and agreed to cooperate with the government — potentially against other members of the far-right extremist group, the authorities said.
The defendant, Matthew Greene, 34, of Syracuse, N.Y., was most likely the first member of the Proud Boys, a group that describes itself as “Western chauvinists,” to plead guilty to charges stemming from the riot, his lawyer, Michael Kasmarek, said on Wednesday.
Mr. Greene was “among the first wave” to rush up the Capitol steps after the police line was breached, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement on Wednesday. After he came down the stairs, he moved police barricades, prosecutors said. His lawyer maintains that he never entered the Capitol building.
Mr. Greene and other Proud Boys members had agreed before the siege to communicate through programmable radios, prosecutors said. They were “intentionally dressed in clothing that concealed their membership as Proud Boys,” the statement said.
Mr. Greene spent much of the rally alongside Dominic Pezzola of Rochester, N.Y., who was spotted bashing a Capitol window with a police shield in a widely seen video. Mr. Pezzola, 44, was later identified in a criminal complaint as part of a group that spoke about killing former Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He has pleaded not guilty to a litany of charges, prosecutors said.
Mr. Greene faces up to 25 years in prison on one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, prosecutors said. But he could receive a sentence of 41 to 51 months because he agreed to cooperate with investigators, Mr. Kasmarek said.
He is set to be sentenced on March 10, prosecutors said. His lawyer declined to say where he was being held until then.
After Mr. Greene returned home from the riot, he ordered more than 2,000 rounds of assault-rifle ammunition and told an “acquaintance” to be ready “to do uncomfortable things,” according to a motion that prosecutors filed in June. The F.B.I. seized his ammunition along with an AR-15 rifle and handguns while they were conducting a search at his home on Jan. 18.
Mr. Greene was arrested in April and agreed to share information with the government, Mr. Kasmarek said, adding that Mr. Greene “wants to take responsibility for what he did.”
The House investigation. A select committee is scrutinizing the causes of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which occurred as Congress met to formalize Joe Biden’s election victory amid various efforts to overturn the results. Here are some people being examined by the panel:
Donald Trump. The former president’s movement and communications on Jan. 6 appear to be a focus of the inquiry. But Mr. Trump has attempted to shield his records, invoking executive privilege. The dispute is making its way through the courts.
Mark Meadows. Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, who initially provided the panel with a trove of documents that showed the extent of his role in the efforts to overturn the election, is now refusing to cooperate. The House voted to recommend holding Mr. Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress.
Scott Perry and Jim Jordan. The Republican representatives of Pennsylvania and Ohio are among a group of G.O.P. congressmen who were deeply involved in efforts to overturn the election. Mr. Perry has refused to meet with the panel.
Phil Waldron. The retired Army colonel has been under scrutiny since a 38-page PowerPoint document he circulated on Capitol Hill was turned over to the panel by Mr. Meadows. The document contained extreme plans to overturn the election.
Fox News anchors. ​​Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade texted Mr. Meadows during the Jan. 6 riot urging him to persuade Mr. Trump to make an effort to stop it. The texts were part of the material that Mr. Meadows had turned over to the panel.
Steve Bannon. The former Trump aide has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena, claiming protection under executive privilege even though he was an outside adviser. His trial is scheduled for next summer.
Michael Flynn. Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser attended an Oval Office meeting on Dec. 18 in which participants discussed seizing voting machines and invoking certain national security emergency powers. Mr. Flynn has filed a lawsuit to block the panel’s subpoenas.
Jeffrey Clark. The little-known official repeatedly pushed his colleagues at the Justice Department to help Mr. Trump undo his loss. The panel has recommended that Mr. Clark be held in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate.
John Eastman. The lawyer has been the subject of intense scrutiny since writing a memo that laid out how Mr. Trump could stay in power. Mr. Eastman was present at a meeting of Trump allies at the Willard Hotel that has become a prime focus of the panel.
Prosecutors said the Proud Boys played a leading role in the attack in which a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, injuring dozens of police officers in a rampage that left several people dead.
The organization, which has maintained links with both overt white supremacists and more mainstream Republicans, has been a vocal — and often violent — supporter of former President Donald J. Trump. During one of the presidential debates, Mr. Trump seemed to signal his support by telling its members to “stand back and stand by.”
In the wake of the riot, the federal authorities used the full scope of their powers to investigate the organization. F.B.I. agents have executed search warrants in New York, California, Florida, Missouri and Washington State.
Along with Mr. Pezzola, Mr. Greene also spent much of the rally with William Pepe of Beacon, N.Y. The charges against Mr. Pepe, 32, were only scantly described. In a criminal complaint issued on Jan. 11, prosecutors said that he had used a day of sick leave to attend a “Stop the Steal” protest in Washington, D.C., and was subsequently photographed inside the Capitol.
Mr. Pepe has pleaded not guilty, prosecutors said.
More than 700 people have been charged since the siege, the Justice Department said, including members of the Oath Keepers, a decade-old antigovernment militia group. Four members of the group have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with investigators.
Alan Feuer contributed reporting.