WASHINGTON — Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio walked out of the D.C. Jail on Friday after completing a five month sentence for burning a church’s Black Lives Matter banner and illegal possession of high-capacity magazines.
Dressed in a Proud Boys hat and t-shirt, Tarrio made brief remarks to the media.
“I’m gonna go home, I’m gonna stuff my face with some fatty foods and I’m going to enjoy my family,” he said.
Tarrio was arrested on January 4, 2021, after traveling to D.C. to attend former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. He eventually pleaded guilty in August to two misdemeanor charges, and was sentenced to 155 days in jail and three years of probation. D.C. Judge Harold Cushenberry said Tarrio’s apparent lack of remorse and repeated criminal violations following previous terms of probation convinced him jail was warranted.
“Mr. Tarrio’s conduct in these criminal cases indicate none of these democratic values [he claims]," Cushenberry said. "Instead Mr. Tarrio’s actions betrayed them. Mr. Tarrio has clearly, intentionally and proudly crossed the line from peaceful protest into dangerous and potentially violent criminal conduct.”
On Friday, Tarrio portrayed himself as a victim of government “persecution” and said he intended to go back to Florida to “fix some of the things going on” in his Proud Boys chapter. Tarrio, who has served as the far-right Proud Boys’ chairman since 2018, has seen his star fall in the organization after court documents revealed he had previously worked as a federal information.
Two days after his arrest, dozens of Proud Boys helped a pro-Trump mob storm the U.S. Capitol Building in an effort to disrupt the certification of electoral college votes for President Joe Biden. Four Proud Boys leaders have been charged with felony conspiracy and obstruction, and numerous others face substantial prison sentences as well if convicted. Tarrio, to date, has not been charged in the case – although he has been named as a defendant in several civil suits related to January 6.
Tarrio has also been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6. He told reporters Friday he intended to comply with that subpoena “to the best of my ability.”
On Thursday, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers militia group. Rhodes and 10 other Oath Keepers now face the first seditious conspiracy charges filed in connection with January 6. The indictment alleges a Florida Oath Keeper, Kelly Meggs, took charge in forming an “alliance” between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other militia groups.
Asked if he was worried he would be indicted next, Tarrio remained defiant, saying, “Absolutely not.”
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