Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio sentenced for conspiracy to sedition in January 6 attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Proud Boys national leader Enrique Tarrio is set to stand trial Wednesday on charges of a failed conspiracy to keep… Donald Trump Trump took office after the Republican lost the 2020 presidential election, in the culmination of one of the most high-profile prosecutions in the United States. January 6, 2021, the attack on the US Capitol.
Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in prison for Tarrio, who had already been arrested and ordered to leave Washington, D.C. by the time members of the Proud Boys joined thousands of Trump supporters in storming the Capitol as lawmakers gathered to certify it. Democrat Joe Biden Electoral victory 2020 But prosecutors say he organized and led the group’s attack from afar, inspiring his followers with his charisma and penchant for propaganda.
Tarrio was a major target in one of the most important Capitol riot cases heard by the Justice Department. He and three aides were convicted in May of charges including conspiracy to sedition, a civil war-era offense seldom imposed by the Justice Department on members of far-right groups who played a key role in the January 6 attack.
“Using his strong platform, Tarrio has repeatedly and publicly indicated that he has no remorse for what he helped make happen on January 6,” prosecutors wrote in a court note.
The Justice Department also recently accused Trump of conspiring to undermine American democracy, and accused the Republican of conspiring in the days leading up to the attack to overturn the election results he lost. Tarrio’s case — and hundreds of others like it — is a vivid reminder of the violent chaos fueled by Trump’s weeks of lies about the election and how much his false claims helped inspire the right-wing extremists who eventually stormed the Capitol to thwart him. Peaceful transfer of presidential power.
Trump, the Republican front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, insists he has done nothing wrong. His trial is scheduled for March 4.
Prosecutors have recommended 33 years in prison for Tarrio, 39, of Miami, nearly double the harshest sentence handed down yet in the massive trial that the Department of Justice conducted on Jan. 6. Longest prison sentence to date I went to Oath Keepers founder Stuart RhodesWho was sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiracy to sedition and convicted on other charges.
US District Judge Timothy Kelly is not bound by the prosecutors’ recommendation when he rules against Tarrio and, separately, against former Proud Boys chapter leader Ethan Norden on Wednesday in Washington federal court — which is within sight of the Capitol Building. Later this week, Kelly is set to judge three more members of the Proud Boys who were A jury convicted him in May After the trial alongside Tarrio and Nordian.
Tarrio, Nordin, Joseph Biggs, and Zachary Riehl were convicted of seditious conspiracy. The fifth member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of conspiracy to sedition, but was found guilty of other serious charges.
Prosecutors also recommended prison terms of 33 years for Biggs, 30 years for Riehl, 27 years for Norden and 20 years for Pezzola.
Tarrio’s attorneys denied that the Proud Boys had any plan to attack the Capitol and said prosecutors used Tarrio as a scapegoat for Trump, who spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on January 6. He urged his supporters to “fight like hell”.
Urging the judge to issue a reduced sentence, Tarrio’s lawyers noted in court papers that he has a history of cooperating with law enforcement. Court records unsealed in 2021 showed that Tarrio I previously worked undercover He cooperated with investigators after being accused of fraud in 2012.
Tarrio’s lawyers urged the judge to “see another side of him – benevolent, cooperating with law enforcement, useful to the community, hardworking, and enjoying a close-knit family unit and community support.”
Police arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the riot on charges that he Black Lives Matter banner defaced during an earlier rally in the nation’s capital, but law enforcement officials later said he was detained in part due to concerns about possible disruptions during the certification. He complied with the judge’s order to leave the city after his arrest.
On January 6, dozens of leaders, members and associates of the Proud Boys were among the first rioters to storm the Capitol. The mob attack confused the police, forced lawmakers to flee the House of Representatives and the Senate, and disrupted the joint session of Congress to certify Biden’s electoral victory.
He selected Tarrio Nordin and Biggs as his top lieutenants on January 6, and set up an encrypted group chat on Telegram for the group’s leaders to communicate, according to prosecutors. The backbone of the case against Tarrio and the other Proud Boys leaders was the letters they exchanged privately before, during, and after the January 6 attack.
“Make no mistake… we did this,” Tarrio wrote to the other group leaders.
Tarrio also posted encouraging messages on social media during the riot, expressing his pride in what he saw unfolding at the Capitol and urging his followers to stay there. He also posted a picture of rioters on the Senate floor with the caption, “1776.”
Several days before the riots, one of his girlfriends sent Tarrio a document titled “The Return of 1776”. It called for the storming and occupation of government buildings in Washington “for the purpose of getting the government to annul the election results,” according to the plaintiffs.
More than 1,100 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol attack. More than 600 of them have been sentenced, and more than half have been sentenced to prison terms.
Nordin, of Auburn, Washington, and Riehl, of Philadelphia, led the local Proud Boys affiliates. Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, described himself as the organizer of the Proud Boys. Pezzola was a member of the group from Rochester, New York.
Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com