A nine-page document used by a Proud Boy leader revealed detailed plans for "patriots" to occupy congressional buildings connected to the US Capitol and the Supreme Court on January 6, 2021.
The document, titled “1776 Returns," was released on Wednesday by Carmen Hernandez, the defense attorney who is representing Proud Boys member Zachary Rehl and is seeking his release from pretrial detention.
Rehl was among five members of the White nationalist extremist group–along with the former leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio the document was allegedly sent to–who was indicted on seditious conspiracy charges this month.
\u201cPrior to the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio received a memo titled "1776 Returns" that laid out plans to occupy congressional buildings to protest the counting of the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election. https://t.co/c1W2eu4CIB\u201d— CBS News (@CBS News) 1655320500
Hernandez included the document in a motion and maintained his client “had no knowledge of the document.”
He also stated in a court filing arguing for Rehl's release from jail:
"1776 Returns is not a plan to attack the Capitol and does not even mention the Capitol. It refers to occupying Congressional office buildings."
While there were no orders to storm the US Capitol or physically assault police officers, the document outlined plans to fill key congressional buildings "with patriots and communicate our demands" and to get as "many people as possible inside these buildings."
\u201c@kyledcheney I just read this. \n\nHoly shit. They wrote it all down.\u201d— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1655311147
The document read in part:
“These are OUR building, they are just renting space. We must show our politicians We the People are in charge.”
There were eight targets listed in the document, which included The Supreme Court, the Russell Senate Office Building, the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Hart Senate Office Building, the Cannon House Office Building, the Longworth House Office Building, the Rayburn House Office Building and CNN.
\u201cNEW: read the \u201c1776 returns\u201d document found on Tarrio. @RepLoudermilk should know that the Cannon, Longworth, & Rayburn buildings were on the \u201cTARGETED BUILDINGS\u201d list, and part of the plan was to \u201cset up meetings with reps in target buildings.\u201d\u201d— Mueller, She Wrote (@Mueller, She Wrote) 1655317805
A section titled, "Manpower Needs," listed the following roles and their respective instructions.
"(1) Lead: 'Covert Sleeper, sets up fake appointment—is expected to spend the day as our insider and let people inside the building."
"(2) Second: 'Takes the place of the lead in case of being discovered.'"
"(3) Hypeman: 'leads chants, must maintain energy/presence.'"
"(4) Recruiter: 'in charge of getting patriots for starting point for each building, share the "patriot plan" document, spread the word.'"
"(5) Patriots: 'Maintain a presence while handing out ‘patriot plan.'"
\u201c@kyledcheney @TimInHonolulu This is....something. It's like a comic book written by a group of 12 year old boys, but scarier. To think they pulled it off is mind blowing.\u201d— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1655311147
\u201c@kyledcheney This is like a fantasy plan of a junior high boy. This is their action plan to take over the American government? It\u2019s kinda like they didn\u2019t even consider consequences.\u201d— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1655311147
The document also called for “leads and seconds” to scope out entrances and exits in government buildings on January 6 and encouraged "patriots" to "Pack huge face masks & face shields, protect your identity."
The plan also instructed for "patriots" to "be in building first thing in the morning. Be dressed in suits and unsuspecting, do not look tactical at all."
When it was time to storm the buildings, they were encouraged to cause "trouble near the front doors to distract guards."
"The goal is to ensure there is an entry point for the masses to rush the building."
The Justice Department, as well as the House select committee, previously cited the manual to demonstrate how extremist organizations such as the Proud Boys were considering how to storm government buildings as early as December 2020.
The Justice Department said more than 840 defendants have been charged in all 50 states and Washington D.C. tied to the January 6 insurrection.
After 17 months since the attack on the US Capitol, 305 people have pleaded guilty to the charges.
The DOJ stated the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the attack continue "to move forward at an unprecedented speed and scale.“
"The Department of Justice’s resolve to hold accountable those who committed crimes on Jan. 6, 2021, has not, and will not, wane.”