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Enrique Tarrio, Ex-Chairman of the Proud Boys, Awaits Sentencing for Role in January 6 Capitol Assault

by Gabriel Martinez
9 comments
Seditious Conspiracy Sentencing

Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, is set to be sentenced this Tuesday for conspiring to attack the United States Capitol with the intent to obstruct the peaceful transition of presidential power following the 2020 election defeat of Donald Trump.

Tarrio will be the last high-ranking member of the Proud Boys to be sentenced for seditious conspiracy related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Last week, three other members of the organization were handed prison sentences ranging from 15 to 18 years by a Washington jury, convicted on the seldom-invoked charge of sedition.

The U.S. Justice Department is advocating for Tarrio, who is 39 years old, to be incarcerated for more than 30 years. Prosecutors characterize him as the mastermind of a violent scheme aimed at undermining the very foundation of American democracy and invalidating Joe Biden’s electoral victory over the then-incumbent, Donald Trump.

Interestingly, Tarrio was not present in Washington, D.C., on the day of the assault; he had been apprehended two days prior on unrelated charges. Nonetheless, the prosecution contends that he played a pivotal role in inciting and facilitating the violence that not only shocked the global community but also halted the Congressional ratification of Biden’s electoral win.

Prosecutors have stated in court documents that Tarrio has persistently and publicly expressed no remorse for his actions leading up to the events of January 6.

Initially scheduled for sentencing last week, Tarrio’s hearing was postponed due to the illness of U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee. Judge Kelly had previously meted out considerable prison sentences to Tarrio’s co-defendants, although less severe than what the prosecutors had recommended.

Ethan Nordean, described by prosecutors as the on-site leader of the Proud Boys during the January 6 attack, received an 18-year sentence, equaling the record for the harshest penalty meted out in relation to the assault. The prosecution had initially sought a 27-year sentence for Nordean, who formerly presided over a Proud Boys chapter in the Seattle area.

In a separate but related case, Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in May after being found guilty of seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors, who had asked for a 25-year sentence for Rhodes, are appealing his and other related sentences.

Legal representatives for the Proud Boys maintain there is no substantiated evidence that there was a planned assault on the U.S. Capitol or an intention to disrupt the transition of presidential power. “Participation in a plan to protest on January 6 does not equate to instructing individuals on-site to forcibly enter the Capitol,” asserted Tarrio’s legal team in submitted court documents.

Tarrio was arrested on January 4, 2021, initially for defacing a Black Lives Matter banner at a previous rally in Washington, D.C. However, officials later revealed that his arrest also aimed to mitigate the risk of potential disturbances during the Congressional certification process. Tarrio complied with a judicial directive to vacate the city following his arrest.

On the day of the Capitol attack, multiple leaders, members, and associates of the Proud Boys were among the earliest individuals to infiltrate the building. The violent incursion led to an emergency response from law enforcement, compelled legislators to abandon the chambers of the House and Senate, and resulted in an interruption of Congress’s formal confirmation of Biden’s electoral victory.

Central to the government’s case were hundreds of messages exchanged among Proud Boys members in the days leading up to January 6. Although absent, Tarrio encouraged the attackers via social media, stating, “Do what must be done.” Later, when queried in a Proud Boys encrypted group chat about future actions, he replied, “Do it again.”

Tarrio later messaged, “Make no mistake. We did this.”


Reporting from Boston: Richer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Enrique Tarrio Sentencing

What charges does Enrique Tarrio face?

Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, faces charges of seditious conspiracy in relation to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

When is Enrique Tarrio scheduled to be sentenced?

Tarrio is set to be sentenced on an upcoming Tuesday. His hearing was initially scheduled for the previous week but was postponed due to the illness of U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.

Was Enrique Tarrio present during the January 6 Capitol attack?

No, Enrique Tarrio was not present in Washington, D.C., on the day of the Capitol attack. He was arrested two days prior on unrelated charges. However, prosecutors argue that he played a pivotal role in instigating and facilitating the violent events.

What sentence is the Justice Department seeking for Tarrio?

The U.S. Justice Department is advocating for Tarrio to receive a prison sentence of more than 30 years.

Have other Proud Boys members been sentenced?

Yes, three other members of the Proud Boys have already been sentenced. They received prison terms ranging from 15 to 18 years for their roles in the attack.

Who is U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly?

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly was nominated to the bench by then-President Donald Trump. He is the judge responsible for sentencing Tarrio’s co-defendants and is scheduled to preside over Tarrio’s sentencing as well.

What evidence is central to the government’s case against Tarrio?

Central to the government’s case are hundreds of messages exchanged among Proud Boys members in the days leading up to January 6. Although Tarrio was not present during the attack, he encouraged the attackers via social media.

What is the stance of Tarrio’s legal team?

Tarrio’s attorneys assert that there is no substantiated evidence of a planned assault on the U.S. Capitol or an intention to disrupt the presidential transition of power.

What was the role of Ethan Nordean and Stewart Rhodes?

Ethan Nordean was described by prosecutors as the on-site leader of the Proud Boys during the January 6 attack and received an 18-year sentence. Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in a separate but related case.

Have there been any other significant sentences related to the January 6 attack?

Yes, Ethan Nordean and Stewart Rhodes both received 18-year sentences, tying for the longest sentence handed down in relation to the January 6 Capitol attack.

More about Enrique Tarrio Sentencing

  • [U.S. Department of Justice Statement on Enrique Tarrio]
  • [January 6 Capitol Attack Timeline]
  • [Role of Proud Boys in January 6 Attack]
  • [Profile of U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly]
  • [Legal Arguments and Court Documents for Enrique Tarrio]
  • [Sedition Laws in the United States]
  • [Sentences for January 6 Capitol Attack Conspirators]
  • [Profile of Ethan Nordean]
  • [Profile of Stewart Rhodes and the Oath Keepers]
  • [U.S. Congressional Certification of 2020 Election Results]

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9 comments

Tina_Z September 5, 2023 - 9:17 pm

Finally some progress. This case has been dragging. Let’s wrap this up and move on.

Reply
AnnaQ September 5, 2023 - 9:20 pm

What about the other groups involved? Seems like Proud Boys are getting all the attention but they werent the only ones there.

Reply
EmilyS September 5, 2023 - 10:01 pm

The article is pretty detailed. Didn’t know Judge Kelly was a Trump appointee. That’s gonna be interesting.

Reply
Dave_K September 6, 2023 - 5:35 am

18 years for Nordean and Rhodes, but they’re asking 30 for Tarrio? Why the difference, does anyone know?

Reply
Mike_T September 6, 2023 - 8:54 am

Tarrio wasn’t even there on Jan 6. how can they call him the mastermind? Doesn’t add up.

Reply
John D September 6, 2023 - 10:08 am

Wow, 30 years. That’s a big number. The justice dept is really going hard on this one. Makes you think how serious they’re taking the Capitol attack.

Reply
Ben_R September 6, 2023 - 10:27 am

So many messages and Tarrio still claims he’s innocent? Kinda hard to believe if u ask me.

Reply
LeoP September 6, 2023 - 11:07 am

Tarrio’s lawyers are fighting a tough battle. Wonder what their strategy is gonna be. Sedition is a heavy charge.

Reply
SarahM September 6, 2023 - 5:47 pm

is it just me or does it feel like the sentencing has been going on forever? Like, can we move on already

Reply

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