Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison for orchestrating the attack by the right-wing extremist group he led on the Capitol in a failed attempt to halt the process of transferring presidential power after Donald Trump’s election defeat. president in 2020.
Tarrio’s sentence was the longest among more than 1,100 cases related to the insurrection at the Capitol. Tarrio’s sentence was harsher than that of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Ethan Nordean, also a former Proud Boys leader, who were each sentenced to 18 years in prison after a jury found them guilty of sedition and other charges.
Torrio’s sentence comes as the Justice Department prepares to try former President Donald Trump in the same courthouse where Torrio’s sentence was handed down. Trump will be tried on charges that as president at the time, he illegally conspired to retain power even though he knew full well he had lost the election.
Tarrio’s case – and hundreds of others like it – serve as a stark reminder of the chaotic aftermath of violence sparked by Trump’s lies around the election, and the extent to which his false claims helped inspire far-right extremist groups, who ultimately stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 to overturn vote certification process and peaceful transfer of power. (em/rs)