Prosecutors have discovered a written plan to “infiltrate” and “occupy” six congressional office buildings and the Supreme Court on January 6, 2021, as part of the federal investigation into Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, according to his indictment and a source familiar with the case.
The nine-page planning document, titled “1776 Returns,” is mentioned briefly in the federal indictment filed last week against Tarrio, who is accused of orchestrating key participants in the US Capitol attack that day. A source revealed more details than were previously known about the plan.
In court, prosecutors described an unnamed person sending Tarrio the document in late December 2020.
“The revolution is important,” the person told him. According to prosecutors, Tarrio replied: “That’s what every waking moment consists of … I’m not playing games.”
The written plan doesn’t mention violence and contains two prongs – one called “Storm the Winter Palace” in which organizers would “fill the buildings with patriots” and another called the “Patriot Plan.” That one-page list of demands would be distributed in the streets, declaring “we the people” request a new election on January 20, 2021, and falsely claiming “the evidence of election fraud is overwhelming.”
Though the document doesn’t call for seizing the US Capitol, its timing and themes track closely to the 1 p.m. ET assembly of the rioting crowd on Capitol Hill that ultimately overtook the Capitol building.
The planning document is included in Tarrio’s indictment as part of the alleged actions that support a conspiracy charge against him and others. While the document is notable enough to be included in the charging documents, it is unclear who authored it or how widely it was distributed, or whether Tarrio distributed it to other Proud Boys.
His five conspiracy co-defendants have pleaded not guilty, and Tarrio is appearing in federal court on Tuesday in Florida for a detention hearing. The Justice Department wants him to remain in jail as he awaits trial.
CNN has reached out to Tarrio’s defense attorney.
The New York Times was first to report more detail on the document.
Tarrio is accused of planning and encouraging others in the Proud Boys to overtake Congress during their certification of the electoral college vote for president, even though he was not in Washington, DC, that day.
On January 6 during the attack, Tarrio was posting on social media about “#WeThePeople” doing “what must be done,” and sent two messages, saying “Make no mistake” and “We did this,” prosecutors said in his indictment. He also noted on social media on January 6 the year “1776” and that “revolutionaries” were in one of the office buildings referenced in the planning document, according to the indictment.
In the document’s “Storm the Winter Palace” pages – apparently named after a pivotal moment in the Russian Revolution in 1917 – planners were to identify two leaders, a recruiter and a “hypeman,” who would lead the crowd in chanting at each building, according to the source. A “covert sleeper” would set up a fake appointment and be expected to spend the day as an insider who would let people inside the building.
A media organization is also named among the “targeted buildings” with a note to “at least egg doorway.”
The crews would aim to get inside secure areas, then open doors for at least 50 people to enter for a “sit in.” Some of their proposed chants included “Liberty or Death” and “No Trump, No America.” Under the “sit in” step described in the document, there’s an open-ended question about how it would end and whether people would just leave at a certain point.
They document also instructs would-be participants to use Covid-19 masking policies to their advantage to shield their identities, and to have supporters pull fire alarms at high-traffic buildings around Washington, DC, to distract police. The plan also mentioned using truckers or bikers for then-President Donald Trump to create traffic congestion that could hamper law enforcement response times.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated when the Winter Palace was stormed during the Russian Revolution. The event happened in 1917.