A New York man who is a member of the right-wing Proud Boys terrorist group pleaded guilty to two charges in connection to his role during the attempted coup d’etat at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of counting Electoral College votes and certifying that Republican incumbent Donald Trump lost the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced that 34-year-old Matthew Greene pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding and one count of conspiracy for his actions on the day a mob of Trump supporters tried to violently overturn the legitimate election results as the White House stood silently watching for 187 minutes.
According to court documents, Greene, 34, of Syracuse, conspired with fellow members of the Proud Boys, a terrorist group that described itself as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said the Proud Boys was established in the midst of the 2016 presidential election by VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes.
Greene pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Greene was arrested on April 21, 2021, following his indictment along with two other individuals in this case, Dominic Pezzola, 44, of Rochester, New York, and William Pepe, 32, of Beacon, New York; they have pleaded not guilty to charges.
Sentencing for Green is to be set on March 10. He faces between 41 and 51 months in prison. According to The Washington Post, he will also be paying a $2,000 fine.
Greene and another Proud Boys member were “among the first wave to cross the downed police line and advance unlawfully into the West Plaza” when a crowd of Trump supporters marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to court filings.
Later on, Greene “participated with other rioters, including members of the Proud Boys, in moving police barricades out from under the scaffolding,” the filings stated.
The Washington Post noted that there is no proof that Greene was actually inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Greene is among the over 700 people who have been charged in connection to storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 as lawmakers sought to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win.
“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” said Trump to the crowd, falsely claiming that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was based on fraudulent vote counts and inciting the attack that followed. “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election.”
Trump said Republicans had to keep fighting and urged a crowd of aggrieved supporters to mount an insurrection against constitutional order, encouraging what quickly became a mob assault on the U.S. Capitol carried out in his name.
The fabrications are still being repeated, but federal prosecutors still won’t allege that Trump’s angry rant amounted to a call to arms and the disgraced former president is not yet being charged with sedition, treason, obstruction, or any other crimes. Many doubt he will be held to account for his criminal offenses.
According to court documents, Greene officially joined the Central New York Proud Boys chapter in December 2020. In advance of Jan. 6, he and other members of the Proud Boys planned to come to Washington and coordinate their activities through various communication methods they had previously obtained, including programmable radios. On Jan. 6, they met up at the Washington Monument, intentionally dressed in clothing that concealed their membership as Proud Boys.
Greene and other Proud Boys members then marched from the Washington Monument to the Capitol, where Greene witnessed the tearing down of barricades and advanced with others into the restricted area. Greene was among the first wave to cross a downed police line and advance into the West Plaza.
He later advanced to a set of stairs that ran from the West Plaza to the Upper West Terrace.
Greene witnessed rioters assault the police and overrun them, then he followed others up the stairs moments after the police line was breached. Finally, after exiting the stairs, he participated with other rioters, including members of the Proud Boys, in moving additional police barricades.
Greene remains detained pending sentencing, which was set for March 10, 2022. He faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction charge, along with potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.