WaPo reporter rains on Nicolle Wallace’s parade, says no evidence links Trump with Proud Boys violence

A Washington Post reporter shattered the expectations of MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Thursday following a Proud Boys seditious conspiracy conviction, with some reality about what that means for former President Donald Trump.

(Video: MSNBC)

In June 2022, the Justice Department’s effort to portray the breach of the U.S. Capitol as a violent insurrection determined to overthrow the government led to the charging of five members of the Proud Boys, including former leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, with seditious conspiracy.

On Thursday, the charges resulted in a conviction for four of the co-defendants, and a delighted Wallace reported, “More than two-and-a-half years since the disgraced ex-president told them to, ‘stand back and stand by,’ a call that helped to galvanize the Proud Boys to serve as the tip of the spear of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol months later, four members of the Proud Boys, including the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, were convicted today of seditious conspiracy.”

After discussing this with other members of the panel, the MSNBC host turned to The Washington Post’s national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig to ask, “I wonder what you think this means, both in terms of the Justice Department having some — a real track record now of successfully prosecuting seditious conspiracy and the questions they’re now gonna have to deal with as to whether or not they can prosecute Trump for the same crimes.”

“Let’s be careful about what we know and what we don’t know,” Leonnig would go on to caution Wallace, after laying out some perspective on the convictions.

“No question, Nicolle, that in the debate, [Trump] recognized that these extremist factions really were the voice of a certain group of people that he needed on his side,” she suggested in her analysis. “And he wasn’t going to cut them back, and he wasn’t going to reject them when asked over and over again whether or not he wanted to deride or dismiss white supremacy and white supremacist groups — alt-right groups.”

“Second question I think you raised is whether or not Donald Trump can be charged with a crime in the wake of now this third trial and great success for the Department of Justice, in bringing and winning convictions for seditious conspiracy,” the reporter circled back.

“The key in seditious conspiracy is violence,” Leonnig outlined. “A critical element is that you must be using force to overturn your government. It’s a rarely brought charge for a reason. Not a lot of people try to violently overthrow the U.S. government, use force, in a conspiracy to do so.”

It was then she dashed the hopes of Wallace as she contended, “And right now, I know, and I think many of the people on your panel know, that prosecutors do not have evidence in hand linking the effort of Enrique Tarrio, Stewart Rhodes, and other lieutenants of theirs, to Donald Trump. They do not have the smoking gun evidence that shows that Donald Trump was directing an effort to violently overthrow the government. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not ever going to get it. It also doesn’t mean that it exists.”

As previously reported, the guilty conviction leaves the members of the Proud Boys facing up to 20 years in prison.

The day after the conviction was reported, Trump posted to Truth Social, “Back in the USA, but sadly I see so many really bad things happening to our Country. The DOJ and FBI are destroying the lives of so many Great American Patriots, right before our very eyes. The Court System is a RUBBER STAMP for their conviction and imprisonment. All this while the Radical Left protects and coddles extremists and murderers at a level, and with intensity, never seen before. GET SMART AMERICA, THEY ARE COMING AFTER YOU!!!”

Kevin Haggerty


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