As part of the ongoing fallout from the Jan. 6, 2021, unrest at the U.S. Capitol, the head of a Proud Boys chapter from West Virginia pleaded guilty this week to one charge of entering or remaining in an-off limits building, as The Hill reported, a frustrating development to Republicans concerned about the harsh charging decisions and subsequent treatment of those who took part in protests that day.
Jeffrey Finley, 29, had first faced charges of knowingly entering and remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, engaging in disorderly conduct in the Capitol buildings, and engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds, but ultimately pleaded to the aforementioned single charge.
According to the Justice Department, Finley was seen in a crowd of protestors prior to the breach of a pedestrian gate at First Street in Washington, D.C., and that group then made its way to the grounds of the Capitol itself.
Finley was reportedly also seen in video footage entering the Capitol facility through a doorway situated on the building’s west side, and during the two hours in which he marched with fellow protesters, he remained in contact with members of a Telegram channel with the moniker “Boots on the Ground,” which he knew to be comprised of fellow Proud Boys members attending the demonstration.
The plea agreement further noted that Finely created and sent a video message to the Telegram channel and said to members, “I just got out myself, dude, I was in there, you know, f****** taking pictures with the boys.”
In days subsequent to the unrest, Finley is said to have deleted his social media presence as well as any video footage and photos documenting his participation in the events of that day, having also urged fellow West Virginian Proud Boys to delete their photographic evidence as well.
Sentencing for Finley is set for July 19, as the Washington Examiner reported, and he faces upwards of a year in prison as a result of his plea.
Just one day prior to Finley’s plea, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio entered a plea of not guilty to a series of felony charges stemming from Jan. 6 of last year, as CBS News reports.
Finley and Tarrio are two of over 30 Proud Boys members or affiliates who face charges resulting from the DOJ’s investigation of the Capitol unrest, and whether they will receive equal justice under the law or be subject to the sorts of prosecutorial delays, abuses, and misconduct to which so many others who have been caught in the Democrats’ fervor to maintain their “insurrection” narrative, only time will tell.