Former Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, is facing sentencing for his involvement in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Tarrio has been convicted of seditious conspiracy, with prosecutors seeking the highest sentencing for anyone connected to the riot. Prosecutors argue that Tarrio influenced numerous members of the Proud Boys and the general public in a conspiracy to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election. Tarrio, along with four other members of the extremist group, appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. Each defendant was convicted of serious felonies, with all but one convicted of sedition.
During the trial, prosecutors claimed that Tarrio led a plot to keep former President Trump in office, despite not being present at the Capitol on January 6. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough argued that the defendants intended to coerce the government and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power. Tarrio’s attorney, Sabino Jauregui, countered that his absence on that day should prevent the application of a terrorism enhancement in his sentencing.
The Department of Justice has recommended a 33-year sentence for Proud Boys member Joe Biggs, while sentences ranging from 20 to 30 years have been requested for the other three defendants: Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola. At the sentencing hearing, law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol on January 6 described the lasting impact of the attack in victim impact statements.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that the Proud Boys engaged in a “consistent drumbeat” of calls for violence following Trump’s election loss. The group gained attention when Trump told them to “stand back and stand by” during a debate. Tarrio himself issued a command on social media, stating that the “standby order has been rescinded.” Defense attorneys placed blame on Trump, alleging that his words and motivation incited the mob.
Former President Trump has since been charged in two criminal cases related to his efforts to overturn the election and the Capitol attack.