The former leader and three members of the far-right group The Proud Boys were found guilty by a US court of attacking the Capitol in January 2021. They conspired to keep President Trump in power.
More than two years after the attack on the US Capitol, the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys party and other members of the group have been found guilty by a US court. A Washington jury found Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and three other men guilty of charges including “sedition conspiracy” in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack.
This criminal offense is rarely used. The jury found that it was proven that Tarrio led a conspiracy by members of his organization. Therefore, their goal was to use force to prevent a democratic transfer of power and to keep the deposed President Donald Trump in power.
The penalty will be determined at a later time. The maximum penalty for “seditious conspiracy” is up to 20 years in prison. Several members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia had previously been convicted of a criminal offence.
Defense blames Trump for the attack
Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress gathered there to officially confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump was goaded by his supporters in a speech. He claimed that he was denied his victory due to mass voter fraud. Five people were killed as a result of the riot.
Tarrio was not in Washington himself on Jan. 6, but prosecutors say he organized and led the attack by the “Proud Boys,” who, along with others, stormed the Capitol. The defense said there was no plan to storm the Capitol or prevent Congress from confirming Trump’s vote. Trump is responsible for the attack on Congressional headquarters.
The head of the American right-wing group “Proud Boys” Henry Tarrio (file photo).
Trump still has many supporters among far-right militias. Tarrio was leading the neo-fascist group Proud Boys when Trump urged the group to stand aside during his first debate with Biden in 2020. The attorney general’s office showed footage of it several times during the process. “These defendants see themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their preferred leader in power, no matter what the law or the courts say,” Attorney General Conor Mulrow said in his closing argument.
The indictment relies on hundreds of text messages exchanged between members of the Proud Boys in the days leading up to Jan. 6, spreading Trump’s false claim that his election defeat was a fraud. When the “Proud Boys” storm the Capitol, Tarrio encourages them from afar. “Do what needs to be done,” he wrote on social media, and later when a member asked him what to do now, “Do it again.”
Private lawyer He has Trump in his sights
The former president has yet to be held criminally liable for the storming of the Capitol. A special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice has set his sights on Trump, who wants to run again in the 2024 presidential election. Recently, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence was questioned during the investigation.