Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the so-called ‘western chauvinist’ movement known as the Proud Boys, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in the January 6th riot. Earlier in May, Tarrio and of his three lieutenants had been convicted of charges including seditious conspiracy. Readers may remember that the Proud Boys had their moment of fame when in one of the debates between Joe Biden and serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSA) in 2020, the latter was asked to disassociate himself from the white nationalist and racist groups who were supporting him.
“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said. “What do you want to call them? Give me a name.”
“Proud Boys,” Democrat Joe Biden chimed in, referencing a far-right extremist group that has shown up at protests in the Pacific Northwest. The male-only group of neo-fascists describes themselves as “western chauvinists,” and they have been known to incite street violence.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said.
The Proud Boys gleefully saw this as an endorsement of them, that SSAT had their back, and no doubt encouraged them to think that they could act with impunity. But now they are facing long terms in prison.
Prosecutors sought a 33-year term. The judge did not agree but nonetheless handed down the longest sentence yet in a case relating to 2020 and the January 6 Capitol attack. The longest sentence previously handed down was 18 years, to both Ethan Nordean, a member of the Proud Boys, and Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers militia.
Just before sentencing, Tarrio expressed the by-now familiar refrain of how he was so sorry, so very sorry, that he had been misled, etc., etc., in order to get a lower sentence.
In remarks to the court in Washington, Tarrio said he was sorry for the events of January 6, and credited police officers for their bravery in resisting the attack.
“What happened on January 6 was a national embarrassment,” Tarrio said, adding that he both now knew Trump lost to Joe Biden and blamed himself for actions that led to him losing his freedom.
Becoming emotional, Tarrio said: “I do not think what happened that day was acceptable.”
He pleaded with the judge, Timothy Kelly, for leniency. “Please show me mercy,” Tarrio said. “I ask you that you not take my 40s from me.”
However, there is every indication that he, like the others who were sentenced, was not genuine in his remorse but that it was a performance for the judge, and the judge was not impressed. Although he did not give him the maximum sentence the prosecutors asked for, Tarrio still got the longest sentence so far given out to those involved in the riot, which is sizable, especially considering that Tarrio had not actually been in Washington DC that day (he had been ordered by a judge to stay away from the city after an earlier altercation with the local authorities) but was directing things from Baltimore. More than 1000 people have been charged with crimes and over 600 sentenced.
Tarrio is 39 years old. His plea to the judge to “not take my 40s from me” because he wishes to start a family did not work and the judge even took his 50s away. Furthermore, the trial revealed that he had once worked undercover and cooperated with investigators back in 2012, which is going to undermine his credibility with these self-imagined revolutionaries.
Tarrio’s lawyers, in their plea for leniency, pointed to his stint cooperating with law enforcement after he was accused of fraud in 2012. His lawyers asked the judge to “see another side of him [Tarrio]—one that is benevolent, cooperative with law enforcement, useful in the community, hardworking and with a tight-knit family unit and community support.”
I think that all the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and others who are now going to spend long terms in prison must be hoping that SSAT will be elected president in 2024 and that he will pardon them. Tarrio acknowledging the SSAT lost the election during this hearing may not help him there. As far as I can see, SSAT has not voiced any support for any of them after their sentencing or denounced their prosecutions as part of the ‘witch hunt’ that he claims is being waged against him. He may be thinking that they are no longer useful to him and so is abandoning them, just like he does with everyone.