WASHINGTON — A California man who organized a group of "fighters" to travel to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 in response to former President Donald Trump's "will be wild" tweet pleaded guilty on Wednesday, agreeing to cooperate at an upcoming trial of members of the Three Percenters movement.
Russell Taylor pleaded guilty to a count of obstruction of an official proceeding. His attorney, Dyke Huish, said in court that Taylor had met with the government on at least four occasions. Huish told NBC News that Taylor was "doing the right thing" and was at court to "take full responsibility" for his actions in the hopes of bringing finality to the case. Prosecutors did not ask a judge to set a sentencing date, saying they should wait until after the Three Percenters trial.
Taylor, a graphic designer, was charged as part of a criminal conspiracy alongside members of the Three Percenters: Alan Hostetter, a former police chief, and Ronald Mele, Derek Kinnison, Felipe Antonio Martinez and Erik Warner. Taylor is likely to testify at the trial, which is set for July.
Taylor, in the Telegram chat "D.C. Brigade," said he was organizing those who were "ready and willing to fight" in D.C. “This thread is exclusive to be utilized to organize a group of fighters to have each other’s backs and ensure that no one will trample on our rights," he wrote to the group on Jan. 1, 2021, according to court documents.
“I truly believe that we were meant to come together to be engaged in this war at this time and as I have said before it is an honor to be shoulder to shoulder with you," Taylor wrote to Hostetter, prosecutors said.
In a group chat, Taylor wrote that he wanted "to be on the front steps and be one of the first ones to breach the doors!” He admitted that he pushed against officers and helped breach a police line on Jan. 6.
“I was pushing through traitors all day today. WE STORMED THE CAPITOL! Freedom was fully demonstrated today!” Taylor wrote after Jan. 6.