Enrique Tarrio was the “ultimate leader” of the conspiracy to storm the US Capitol, Judge Timothy Kelly justified the high sentence of 22 years in prison. That day “broke our previously unbroken tradition of peaceful transfers of power,” he said at the almost four-hour sentencing hearing in Washington. Tarrio asked for leniency during the trial. But the judge said he saw no sign of actual remorse. The convicted man’s lawyers announced an appeal.
Prosecutors wanted 33 years in prison
The prosecution had demanded 33 years in prison for Tarrio and spoke of a calculated terrorist act. Prosecutor Conor Mulroe described the 39-year-old as the ringleader of a plot aimed at using violence to shake the cornerstones of American democracy and prevent Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory over Republican incumbent Donald Trump. “We must ensure that the consequences are clear to anyone who may be dissatisfied with the results of 2024, 2028, 2032 or any other election,” Mulroe said.
Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6, 2021, but cheered on the Proud Boys from afar. When around 200 members of the right-wing extremist militia and thousands of other Trump supporters stormed the parliament building, he wrote on social media, among other things: “Do what has to be done.” The attackers wanted to prevent Congress from finally confirming Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election that day.
Tarrio and four other members of the Proud Boys were convicted of “seditious conspiracy” in May. The four others received prison sentences of between ten and 18 years last week. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of another right-wing militia group involved in the storming of the US Capitol – the Oath Keepers – was also sentenced to 18 years in prison.
After the presidential election, Trump refused to acknowledge his defeat against Biden and made allegations of election fraud that have been widely refuted. At noon on January 6, 2021, the Republican called on his supporters to march to the Capitol and fight “no matter what.” The momentous attack caused horror around the world and is considered a black day in the history of US democracy.
se/mak (ap, afp, rtr)