Over a year after the Donald Trump-inspired violent invasion of Congress last January 6th, Enrique Tarrio — a leader of the extreme right-wing, neo-fascist Proud Boys — has been indicted on seditious conspiracy charges in conjunction with his activities surrounding the planning and organization of the seditionist attack on Capitol Hill.
The 38-year-old Miami-based Tarrio is the second leader of a major extremist group to be indicted for seditious conspiracy after Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was charged this past January.
According to The Washington Post:
“An indictment unsealed in federal court in Washington D.C. on Tuesday accuses Tarrio of conspiring with other senior Proud Boys leaders, including Ethan Nordean and Joe Biggs, both of whom are already charged in connection with Jan. 6. The charges against Tarrio include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding — in this case the formal tallying by Congress of electoral votes in Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. The charges against Tarrio were added to the previously filed indictment against Nordean, Biggs, and other Proud Boys followers.”
Tarrio and other Proud Boys were a familiar presence at the multiple “Stop the Steal” rallies that took place after it became apparent that Donald Trump had lost the 2020 presidential election and began spreading his “big lie” about a stolen election.
Tarrio himself, however, was not actually present at the Capitol on January 6th and denies that he or the Proud Boys were responsible for any of the violence that took place.
In fact, the Proud Boy leader had been ordered to stay outside of Washington Dc city limits by a judge in a court case stemming from his burning of a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a Black church during a December 12th, 2020 “Stop the Steal” rally in the city.
Tarrio pleaded guilty to that earlier charge and served four months in prison before being released earlier this year. In the indictment unsealed today, new information about Tarrio’s actions in the weeks ahead of the insurrection was revealed.
“On Dec. 30 and 31st, prosecutors charge, Tarrio exchanged messages with an individual who sent him a plan to occupy ‘crucial buildings’ in Washington, including the House and Senate buildings, with ‘as many people as possible,” The Washington Post reports. “After sending the document, the individual allegedly messaged Tarrio that ‘The revolution is (sic) important than anything,’ to which Tarrio allegedly replied: ‘That’s what every waking moment consists of… I’m not playing games.’”
In addition, rather than immediately leaving Washington DC after his court appearance on the day before the January 6th insurrection as the judge had ordered, Tarrio instead went to a parking garage in the city and met with Rhodes, the Oath Keepers leader, and other right-wing figures “known and unknown to the grand jury, for approximately 30 minutes. During this encounter, a participant referenced the Capitol,” according to the indictment.
With one of Rhodes’ co-defendants in his seditious conspiracy case having already accepted a guilty plea, both the Oath Keepers leader and the Proud Boys’ Tarrio now face a maximum of 20 years in prison if they are found guilty of the charges against them.
Original reporting by Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett at The Washington Post.
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.