The indictment also listed previously charged Ethan Nordean, 30, of the Seattle area and Joseph Biggs, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla. Prosecutors asked for the unsealing after Rehl and Donohoe were taken into custody, but the new charges were not immediately made public by a federal court.
Nordean was previously charged with aiding and abetting the obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of federal property, trespassing and disorderly conduct. Biggs faces similar charges, except for the destruction of property. Neither has entered a plea, with a Tuesday arraignment for Nordean postponed.
The indictment and arrests of Rehl and Donohoe were first reported Wednesday by the New York Times.
A federal defender for Donohoe in North Carolina where he made an initial court appearance Wednesday did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and an attorney for Rehl could not immediately be identified.
U.S. prosecutors and the FBI have now charged about 20 members or associates of the Proud Boys — a far-right group with a history of violence — calling some of them chief instigators of the riot at the Capitol that obstructed Congress’s confirmation of the 2020 presidential election. The riot left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.
A Proud Boys-led group assembled that day at the Capitol, skipping then-President Donald Trump’s speech at a rally near the White House, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say communications by Nordean indicate that he and others were planning in advance to organize a group that would attempt to overwhelm police and enter the building.
A Proud Boys live-stream video taken at the Capitol shortly before it was stormed shows what appears to be Nordean, Biggs and others allegedly leading a group of scores leading chants, taunting police and threatening to “take the Capitol,” according to prosecutors.
The group converged just before 1 p.m. at a lightly defended 1st Street NW entrance to Capitol grounds, wearing helmets, vests and tactical gear marked with fluorescent orange tape.
Surveillance footage showed at least four members of the Proud Boys group taking actions to prevent police from deploying descending metal barriers to seal off underground access to the Capitol, allowing the invading crowd to surge forward, the FBI said.
Another member is accused by the FBI of leading rioters outside and inside the Capitol by removing barricades, rushing police, and using an officer’s riot shield to smash in a Capitol window, allowing others to rush into the building near Vice President Mike Pence as he was being led to safety.
In social media posts and video before and on that day, Nordean expressed anger at police, including their response to violence that erupted involving Proud Boys members who attended a December pro-Trump demonstration in D.C. and their arrest Jan. 4 of national leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 33, who has pleaded not guilty to burning a historic Black church’s flag during the Dec. 12 protest.
Tarrio, Nordean and Biggs, a former U.S. Army sergeant and Infowars.com on-air reporter, also formed a business together last year, Warboys LLC, promoting right-wing causes online and through Tarrio’s store, the 1776 Shop.
Tarrio has denied that the group organized any violence at the Capitol. He was not at the Jan. 6 rally and has not been charged with any wrongdoing related to the riot. “There was no plan to go into the Capitol. … There was no plan to even interrupt Congress,” Tarrio has said.
Nordean’s defense attorney, David Benjamin Smith, said last week that the government failed to allege any evidence of plans or conspiracy by him to commit any specific crime involving the destruction of government property.
Biggs’s defense attorney, Michael Ryan, has called the allegations against Biggs “speculative” and said he is not accused of damaging the Capitol.
Along with members of the Proud Boys, federal prosecutors have charged more than a dozen members or associates of the Oath Keepers — a network of loosely organized right-wing, anti-government groups that recruit from the military and law enforcement to resist federal laws they deem unconstitutional — with conspiring in advance to impede Congress’s joint session on Jan. 6.
In a separate Thursday filing on behalf of former Army private Jessica Watkins, Assistant Federal Defender Michelle Peterson said “the government has produced no evidence that the Oath Keepers as a whole, let alone the small group of people Ms. Watkins was with, had any intention of storming the capitol or breaking any laws on January 6, 2021.”
While Watkins, an alleged ring leader and founder of an Ohio state militia, has expressed remorse for going into the Capitol, Peterson said she and other militia members were only planning to provide security that day and exchanged several texts beforehand discussing guarding Republican strategist and Trump confidant Roger Stone.