Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio alleged that federal prosecutors attempted to manipulate him into implicating former President Donald Trump in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Despite not being present in Washington, DC, on the day of the riot, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Tarrio to a record 22 years in prison.
Tarrio told the Washington Post that prosecutors asked him about Trump’s role in the riot and showed him messages linking him to Trump through two intermediaries. He said he didn’t know the third person connected to Trump and refused to name the people who prosecutors claimed linked him to the former president. “They weren’t trying to get the truth,” Tarrio said. “They were trying to coerce me into signing something that’s not true.”
Additionally, Tarrio asserted that the prosecutors did not ask him about Roger Stone, a close associate of Trump’s, or Ali Alexander, a promoter of the “Stop the Steal” rally. They also didn’t ask him about his knowledge of the events of January 6 beyond the supposed connection to Trump.
Prosecutors later offered Tarrio a deal: nine to 11 years in prison if he pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, an offer he declined. During his sentencing hearing, Judge Kelly described Tarrio as “the ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organized, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal.”
Tarrio apologized to law enforcement officials who responded to the Capitol riot. “To the men and women of law enforcement who answered the call that day, I’m sorry,” he said. “I have always tried to hold myself to a higher standard, and I failed. I failed miserably. I thought of myself morally above others, and this trial has humbled me.”
Tarrio is among the 1,100 individuals who have been charged in relation to the Capitol riot and one of the 370 who have received prison sentences.