(Washington) Four activists from the far-right group Proud Boys, involved in the assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, were convicted on Thursday of sedition, an extremely rare charge.

Their former leader, Enrique Tarrio, is among the four condemned.

Five members of the group were on trial in Washington for having, with a crowd of supporters of Republican President Donald Trump, caused chaos in the seat of Congress, when the elected officials certified the election of his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the House. White.

Another member, Dominic Pezzola, was found not guilty of sedition, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison, which involves planning the use of force to oppose the government.

He was instead convicted of stealing state property. In a video that has gone viral, Dominic Pezzola can be seen handling a riot shield – stolen from police – and smashing a window in the Capitol.

The five activists were found guilty of other lesser charges, such as obstructing the work of Congress or destroying public property.

Attorney General Merrick Garland recalled promising after the Capitol storming that authorities would do “everything to punish those responsible for this heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy,” the peaceful transfer of power .

Former Proud Boys “National President” Enrique Tarrio, arrested in Miami in March 2022, was not in Washington on January 6, but was being prosecuted for leading the attack on the Temple of American Democracy by members of this neofascist organization.

After two trials, concluded in November and January, six members of another far-right militia, the Oath Keepers, had already been convicted of sedition.

Difficult to prove, this charge is very rarely used, and the previous conviction on this count, before those of November and January, dates back almost a quarter of a century.

The trial of the five members of the Proud Boys opened in December in a court in the federal capital.

The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, was among the members of this group to be convicted in November of “sedition”.

According to Enrique Tarrio’s indictment, Tarrio spoke with Stewart Rhodes on January 5 in an underground parking lot in Washington and stayed in contact with members of the Proud Boys who entered the Capitol.

Four of his accomplices were accused of having directly taken part in the assault.

On a cold winter’s day on January 6, 2021, thousands of President Donald Trump supporters gathered in Washington to protest the 2020 election result that saw the ex-real estate mogul lose .

A crowd had stormed the seat of the US Congress, sending shock waves around the world.

Nearly two years after the incident, a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the assault had recommended criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, including for calling for insurrection and conspiracy against the American state.

Non-binding, the decision was nonetheless historic, since it targeted a former head of state. Donald Trump immediately denounced a maneuver aimed, according to him, at hampering his new candidacy for the presidency.

But the convictions for sedition in the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys trials could increase the pressure on the former American president, targeted by the criminal investigation of a special prosecutor who is looking in particular at his role in the assault on the Capitol.