Former Proud Boys Chief Enrique Tarrio Sentenced to 22 Years Over Capitol Assault
Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Picture/Noah Berger, File)
By Michael Kunzelman, Lindsay Whitehurst and Alanna Durkin Richer
Former Proud Boys chief Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in jail for orchestrating a failed plot to maintain Donald Trump in energy after the Republican misplaced the 2020 election, capping the case with the stiffest punishment that has been handed down but for the U.S. Capitol assault.
Tarrio, 39, pleaded for leniency earlier than the decide imposed the jail time period topping the 18-year sentences given to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and one-time Proud Boys chief Ethan Nordean for seditious conspiracy and different convictions stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
Tarrio, who led the neofacist group because it grew to become a drive in mainstream Republican circles, lowered his head after the sentence was imposed, then squared his shoulders. He raised his hand and made a “V” gesture together with his fingers as he was led out of the courtroom in orange jail garb.
His sentencing comes because the Justice Division prepares to place Trump on trial on the similar courthouse in Washington on expenses that the then-president illegally schemed to cling to energy that he knew had been stripped away by voters.
Rising to talk earlier than the sentence was handed down, Tarrio referred to as Jan. 6 a “nationwide embarrassment,” and apologized to the law enforcement officials who defended the Capitol and the lawmakers who fled in concern. His voice cracked as he mentioned he let down his household and vowed that he’s executed with politics.
“I’m not a political zealot. Inflicting hurt or altering the outcomes of the election was not my purpose,” Tarrio mentioned. “Please present me mercy,” he mentioned, including, “I ask you that you simply not take my 40s from me.”
U.S. District Decide Timothy Kelly, who was appointed to the bench by Trump, mentioned Tarrio was motivated by “revolutionary zeal” to steer the conspiracy that resulted in “200 males, amped up for battle, encircling the Capitol.” Noting that Tarrio had not beforehand proven any regret publicly for his crimes, the decide mentioned a stiff punishment was essential to discourage future political violence.
“It may possibly’t occur once more. It may possibly’t occur once more,” the decide repeated.
Tarrio and three lieutenants have been convicted in Could of seditious conspiracy and different crimes after a months-long trial that served as a vivid reminder of the violent chaos fueled by Trump’s lies concerning the election that helped encourage right-wing extremists just like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
Prosecutors had sought 33 years behind bars for Tarrio, describing him because the ringleader of a plot to make use of violence to shatter the cornerstone of American democracy and overturn the election victory by Joe Biden, a Democrat, over Trump, the Republican incumbent.
Prosecutor Conor Mulroe advised the decide that the Proud Boys got here dangerously near succeeding of their plot — and famous that “it didn’t take rifles or explosives.”
“There was a really actual chance we have been going to get up on Jan. 7 in a full-blown constitutional disaster,” Mulroe mentioned, with “300 million People having no thought who the following president can be or how it might be determined.”
Tarrio wasn’t in Washington, D.C, when Proud Boys members joined 1000’s of Trump supporters, who smashed home windows, beat law enforcement officials and poured into the Home and Senate chambers as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s victory. However prosecutors say the Miami resident organized and led the Proud Boys’ assault from afar, inspiring followers together with his charisma and penchant for propaganda.
Tarrio’s attorneys denied the Proud Boys had any plan to assault the Capitol or cease the certification of Biden’s victory. They argued that prosecutors used Tarrio as a scapegoat for Trump, who spoke on the “Cease the Steal” rally close to the White Home on Jan. 6 and urged his supporters to “battle like hell.”
Tarrio’s youthful sister, fiancé and mom tearfully urged the decide to point out mercy earlier than the sentence was imposed. Tarrio took off his glasses and wiped his eyes as he listened to his mom converse.
The protection requested for not more than 15 years in jail, arguing that their shopper shouldn’t be punished as harshly because the Oath Keepers’ Rhodes, who was current on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.
Protection lawyer Nayib Hassan advised reporters after the listening to that they may attraction.
Tarrio’s attorneys described him as a “keyboard ninja,” who was vulnerable to “discuss trash,” however had no intentions of overthrowing the federal government. The Proud Boys’ solely plans that day have been to protest the election and confront left-wing antifa activists, lawyer Sabino Jauregui advised the decide.
“My shopper is not any terrorist,” Jauregui mentioned. “My shopper is a misguided patriot.”
Tarrio had been arrested two days earlier than the Capitol riot on expenses that he defaced a Black Lives Matter banner throughout an earlier rally within the nation’s capital, and he had complied with a decide’s order to go away town after his arrest.
The decide agreed with prosecutors that the Proud Boys’ crimes could possibly be punished as “terrorism” — growing the advisable sentence beneath federal tips. However he in the end sentenced the Proud Boys to shorter jail phrases than these sought by prosecutors.
The spine of the federal government’s case was a whole bunch of messages exchanged by Proud Boys within the days main as much as Jan. 6 that prosecutors say confirmed how the extremists noticed themselves as revolutionaries and celebrated the Capitol assault, which despatched lawmakers operating into hiding.
The decide pointed to Tarrio’s messages cheering on the Capitol assault and the Proud Boys’ position in it.
“Make no mistake,” Tarrio wrote in a single message. “We did this.” In one other put up because the Proud Boys swarmed the Capitol, Tarrio commanded: “Do what should be executed.” In a Proud Boys encrypted group chat later that day somebody requested what they need to do subsequent. Tarrio responded, “Do it once more.”
He’s the ultimate Proud Boys chief convicted of seditious conspiracy to obtain his punishment. Three fellow Proud Boys discovered responsible by a Washington jury of the hardly ever used sedition cost have been sentenced to jail phrases starting from 15 to 18 years.
The Justice Division is interesting the 18-year jail sentence of Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy in a separate case, in addition to the sentences of different members of his antigovernment militia group that have been lighter than what prosecutors had sought. Prosecutors had requested 25 years in jail for Rhodes.
Richer reported from Boston.