A document filed as an exhibit in the Proud Boys federal criminal case purports to show a plan for occupying federal buildings on Jan. 6.
Proud Boy defendant Zachary Rehl, who faces charges of seditious conspiracy, filed the plan, titled “1776 Returns,” as an exhibit in his case as part of an argument for why he should no longer be detained pending trial.
Prosecutors cited the “1776” plan in charging documents filed this year against Rehl and other Proud Boys, including the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio. The New York Times reported on it in March.
The nine-page document outlines a sweeping plan to occupy federal buildings on Jan. 6, laid out over five parts titled “Infiltrate,” “Execution,” “If necessary, distract,” “Occupy,” and “sit in.”
The plan calls for attendees to “storm” buildings in central D.C., including the Supreme Court and congressional office buildings, at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 6. In reality, Capitol police began to retreat up the Capitol steps at 1:30 p.m., and a riot was declared shortly afterwards.
The plan appears to play on the standard D.C. office building sit-in strategy employed by groups across the political spectrum, fusing it with something far more sinister. Congressional office buildings are named as targets for “occupation,” as is the Supreme Court building.
It comes with what appears to be a flyer that includes a list of demands, focusing mainly on a “new election” to be conducted on Jan. 20, 2021; Biden was inaugurated that day.
The new election would have to be conducted in line with what Trump, right-wing media, and conservative attorneys had demanded in a series of baseless and unsuccessful lawsuits seeking to overturn Biden’s win: it would be conducted using paper ballots, with no absentee voting, and under watch by the National Guard.
Law enforcement purportedly found the document on Tarrio’s phone, with Rehl’s attorney saying that the Proud Boys received it from “a female acquaintance.”
Rehl’s attorney said that he had been unaware of the plan, and argued that it wasn’t even that bad.
“A proposal to occupy office building is a time-tested protest activity,” the filing reads. “Activists occupied buildings during the 1960s while protesting racial discrimination and against the Vietnam War.”
“There certainly is no evidence that a plan to occupy office buildings has been used to support a charge of seditious conspiracy against a person who did not use any force or violence,” Rehl’s attorney wrote.
The plan lays out logistical details as well, including “manpower needs.” It calls for 50 “patriots” to occupy each building, and suggests that those involved should pull fire alarms in nearby buildings along the National Mall — as well as at an unnamed Walmart — to “distract” police.
Read the filing and plan here: