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A person carrying a Proud Boys flag in Richmond, Virginia, on Jan. 18. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Two members of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were indicted Friday on federal charges for conspiring to obstruct law enforcement from protecting the U.S. Capitol during the pro-Trump siege on Jan. 6, the Department of Justice announced.

The state of play: Dominic Pezzola, 43, and William Pepe, 31, removed temporary metal barricades erected by the Capitol Police to control access to the Capitol, and stole property belonging to Capitol Police officers, per the indictment.

  • The indictment filed in federal court in the District of Columbia also includes charges of civil disorder, unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted buildings or grounds.
  • The charges further allege that Pezzola confronted a Capitol Police officer, stole the officer's riot shield and used it to smash a Capitol window.
  • Pezzola was charged with "obstruction of an official proceeding; additional counts of civil disorder and aiding and abetting civil disorder ... assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; destruction of government property; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted buildings or grounds."

The big picture: Pepe and Pezzola were initially charged in a criminal complaint and arrested on Jan. 12 and 15, respectively.

  • The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason McCullough and Erik Kenerson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Taryn Meeks of the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Go deeper

Capitol Police officer who died after pro-Trump riot will lie in honor

A vigil honoring United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 28. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died in early January from injuries sustained while responding to the siege on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Friday evening.

Why it matters: Lying in honor is a final tribute reserved only for private citizens who have rendered distinguished service to the nation, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

6 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.