Henry Enrique Tarrio can only win his appeal with support from the American people after three years of litigation for his “role in the Capitol riot.”
US District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump-appointed magistrate whose wife works for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, took pleasure in sentencing Tarrio to 22 years in prison on Sept. 5.
Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, onetime congressional candidate, and the Florida state director of Latinos for Trump, was not on the Capitol grounds during the Capitol riot, and he was not even in Washington DC on January 6.
But Kelly and government prosecutors warn that Tarrio’s seductive national prominence in the conservative movement, and his loyal support of former President Trump, warrants severe punishment.
The federal judge reprimanded Tarrio during his sentencing for galvanizing hundreds of men around the country to dare to think they could emulate the Founding Fathers.
Kelly also added terrorist enhancements to Tarrio’s sentence, warning Tarrio expressed no remorse for the “seditious conspiracy” he orchestrated.
As The Gateway Pundit has reported, during the Proud Boys Leadership trial, the government never showcased an actual plan the Proud Boys created for January 6. The only plan revealed was a document titled “1776 Returns,” which was created by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and disseminated amongst Proud Boys.
Kelly allowed the government to stack the jury with ardent left-wing activists. During jury selection, he gave each potential juror a litmus test, asking ‘Do you support Black Lives Matter or ever attended a BLM protest? Do you support Antifa? Have you ever attended an Antifa rally? Have you attended attended the Women’s March?” Each of the potential jurors was seated on the jury after answering in the affirmative, while objections from defense attorneys were repeatedly shut down. Each juror also agreed with the characterization that the Proud Boys are a “white supremacist group” and neo-fascists.”
Defense attorneys representing Tarrio, Nayib Hassan, and Sabino Jaugeraui, requested the Proud Boys leadership trial be relocated to a district that doesn’t have a 92+ percent voting rate for Brandon and a high margin of government workers, but Judge Kelly denied the requests, effectively granting the government the guilty verdicts at the start of the trial.
During Rehl’s sentencing, as Rehl pleaded with Judge Kelly for mercy, Kelly’s face turned visibly red as he subtly grinned. During Tarrio’s sentencing, the judge appeared eager to humiliate Tarrio, who has spent the majority of his pre-trial detention in a 6 by 8-foot cell in solitary confinement.
Brandon supporters and fascist Antifa activist, who herald themselves as “sedition hunters” and “Capitol hunters” following the Capitol riot, are celebrating Tarrio’s stiff prison sentence.
READ THE PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF HENRY ENRIQUE TARRIO’S SENTENCING HEARING HERE:
Tarrio takes his seat.
[Inmates were deprived of haircuts and razors for weeks, but it appears Tarrio was finally able get a haircut. Tarrio has a full beard, wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit, a long-sleeved white shirt, and glasses.]
[AUSA Erik Kenerson and Conor Mulroe shake hands with Henry Tarrio’s attorneys Sabino Jauregui and Nayib Hassan as everyone starts to settle in the courtroom.]
[Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former chairman of the Proud Boys who was convicted of seditious conspiracy, enters the courtroom to face sentencing. He is walking to the defense table confidently, standing tall. The courtroom is crowded.]
Judge Tim Kelly is on the bench and we begin with some basic housekeeping around the sentencing memorandums.
KELLY: Here’s how the process will work: there will be a discussion about outstanding objections to the presentencing report and if so, to resolve them. Then, I will determine what sentencing guidelines, and range apply to your case. Then we will hear from the government and the defense and Tarrio if he wants to be heard. Then I will go through any guideline clarifications and then impose the sentence.
AUSA JASON MCCULLOUGH: No, your honor.
KELLY: Does the defense have any objections set forth in the presentencing report?
DEFENSE ATTORNEY SABINO JAGAUR: No, your honor.
KELLY: Mr. Tarrio are you satisfied with your representation?
TARRIO: Absolutely, your honor. [Tarrio affirms he is ready to move forward.]
KELLY: You noted a number of objections in the report, Some of them struck me as really, sort of objections to inferences about which you will argue to me, specific offenses, characteristic that apply, adjustment that apply or not, but are there factual things you want to point out?
JAUREGUI: I will be the one to make objections today. Most of the factual objections will be inferences based on how we think the trial progressed.
KELLY: Fair enough, but again, this should be about factual objections.
JAUREGUI: Tarrio’s main objections revolve around [terror] enhancements.
KELLY: Next to the determination of the guidelines, I will incorporate facts and inferences laid out last week when I denied motions to acquit or retry. The first piece of this is guidelines for counts 1 to 4. No one questions that count 2,3, 2j1.2 applies. On counts 1 and 4, there was an issue I heard argued on at the omnibus hearing last week about what appropriate guideline is for counts 1 and 4. I concluded the same guideline applies to counts 1 and 4, its a legal conclusion. I explained my reasoning last week and again here today: The base offense level is 14 for counts 1-4.
The next issue is the 3 specific offense characteristics under 2j1.2 – 2j1.2b12 and 2j1.2b2 and 2j1.2b3. On first, I’ve heard arguments and evidence on whether the phrase “administration of justice” is broad enough to cover Congressional certification proceedings – it is. The phrase administration of justice is so broad as to cover Congress’ certification proceeding, However, I know there are some arguments you will want to make to me, particularly to Mr. Tarrio.
JAUREGUI: We don’t think they apply. Neither the 3. Factually specific to my client, I know I’ve told you, he wasn’t there on Jan. 6. He participated in Telegram chats, spoke to buddies in PBs & made a plan to travel to DC. That was the plan, only plan. They had a chat group, decided to come to DC and that was the end of it. He was out of commission, followed the court order (to stay out of DC), and went to Baltimore (hotel) and that was the end of it. I don’t think Congress administers justice, I don’t think they ever have.
As to specific characteristics – he was in Baltimore the whole time, he was out of communication with his co-conspirators in DC…no evidence he directed [men on the ground] any way shape or form. There was one phone call that was dropped. He did not touch that fence, he could not have reasonably foreseen that all these things happened.
KELLY: I understand your argument and that’s your argument you made to the jury and the jury didn’t believe you.
Where we are in the process right now, is that he was convicted of certain counts and not others, but reality is, he’s convicted and stands before me for sentencing convicted of count 1 – seditious conspiracy, count 2, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.
Tarrio was found guilty of…obstruction of official proceeding, count 4, conspiracy to prevent officer from doing duties [he quickly read the list of counts Tarrio was convicted of]
Lord knows you made those arguments to the jury and to me at various contexts but I don’t know that they carry things very far here today when I have to sentence him for the crimes the jury did convict him of. When I look at what jury did and what evidence is, all i have to do – take for example, the fence, he’s convicted of the fence. its not a question of me saying what was foreseeable or not. the jury thought it was.
JAUREGUI: You have a certain limited gatekeeper role even with the jury’s verdict. The plan [on Jan. 6] was to confront Antifa and nothing else; he denounced violence.
KELLY: What part of that was denouncing it that day when he said, “Do it again.”
JAUREGUI: That was a response he did in a chat, your honor. That was private not public. That happened right there and then. He didn’t know the extent of damage and injury to law enforcement, but once he realized that – he wasn’t the only one watching on TV. He realized the severity in the hours and days after.
[Kelly looks at Jaruregui with contempt, viscerally annoyed by the rebuttal]
AUSA CONOR MULROE: The jury’s verdicts are dispositive on this. The court does have a role gatekeeping or backstop, but you exercised that last week when you issued a ruling on Rule 29 motions and laid out many facts supporting this conviction.
JAUREGUI: He wasn’t there, enhancements shouldn’t apply. Rehl’s [alleged] pepper spraying of a police officer shouldn’t be relevant conduct.
KELLY: I disagree. It was reasonably foreseeable that assault could happen. Tarrio himself told Proud Boys to bring pepper spray with them to DC. These acts and what the jury convicted him of – interfering with electoral count – the [terror] enhancement will apply.
Whether the offense resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice – it’s difficult to imagine a more substantial disruption to admin. of justice than Jan. 6 events. An entire branch of govt was brought to heel for a period. Delaying proceedings designed to facilitate the transition of presidential powers in part by actions of the defendant and his co-conspirators.
There’s an interesting question as to whether the specific offense is characteristic – words are “resulted in”…Nordean also argued there has to be “but for” causation, or, the enhancement could not be applicable unless the govt proved to a preponderance. That defendants or his co-conspirators’ actions were a but-for cause of the substantial interference. it’s an interesting argument. it would mean, for what its worth, this particular enhancement wouldn’t apply to any January 6 offense but I have in the past with all of Tarrio’s co-defendants laid out why I think Judge Mehta’s reasoning fit it not but more relaxed, so 2b2 is applied under 2b3, [Kelly applies another terror enhancement]
I do find Tarrio [and co-defendants] started planning for Jan. 6 as soon as Dec. 19.. Trump announced the rally. Tarrio’s talk of planning includes not to wear [Proud Boy] colors, to bring [protective] gear on Jan. 6, the recruiting of chapter members who agreed to follow orders – so the enhancement does apply.
For counts 1 to 4, we get to 27 for offense level for Tarrio. The government wants enhancement for obstructing officers charges. Rehl and fellow PB Chuck Donohoe’s assault will be cross referenced here and constitutes relevant offense conduct to Tarrio,
Jurors hung on one of the assault counts but that’s not the same as acquitting, Evidence at trial showing Proud Boy Chuck Donohoe hurling [an empty] water bottle at police, evidence showing Donohoe’s role in Ministry of Self Defense; his leadership on that day in the crowd; and Donohoe plead guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers. So, Kelly says, assault by Rehl and Donohoe does fall under scope of criminally undertaken activity and it was reasonably foreseeable to Tarrio.
[Kelly justifies additional terrorism enhancement.]
Tarrio was convicted of one of the enumerated offenses in the statute – and the other part is what mental state has to be to make it a federal crime of terrorism, which is whether it was calculated to intimidate/coerce/retaliate against govt conduct. [Regarding terrorist enhancments] I’ll be candid, I don’t think its a close call here given the offenses Mr. Tarrio was convicted of,
JAUREGUI: My client is no terrorist, he’s a misguided patriot. This is not some foreign national waging war against the US. He thought he was saving this country, this republic. He went there to protest….the pepper spray and gear was to fight Antifa.
[Kelly scoffs at Jauregui]
KELLY: Again, I don’t think given what the jury found here, there’s much wiggle room on this. even if there was … when you say he was ‘misguided,’ I guess I’m kind of confused because you said he was just there to protest – but what was he misguided about?
You say, ‘My client’s no terrorist’ – to be clear, I’ve said this in other sentencings – it’s my job to apply the guidelines. They call it a terrorism adjustment. You can call it whatever you like. What it means was there one of these enumerated crimes on one hand or was it calculated to intimidate/coerce govt? Its not my job to label anyone a terrorist, and nothing I do here does that one way or the other, but I do have to calculate the guidelines and assess and account for what the jury found here… especially on sedition conspiracy.
[Tarrio whispers to his attorney after Jauregui asks for a moment. They speak quietly with attorney Nayib Hassan for 30 seconds.
JAUREGUI: As to black fence specifically, I think your honor would agree with me, that my client reiterated the PBs would never be the first ones to cross police lines
KELLY: I know you keep saying that and the jury convicted of seditious conspiracy. Even if I want to respond to evidence on your terms, i recall the evidence where someone said to your client, we could have rolled over the police on one of these prior occasions and your client said, i had a plan for that, but someone talked him out of it. To say ‘Oh my goodness there’s no evidence to take up arms against the police.’ I don’t think that supports the evidence at trial.
JAUREGUI: The black fence is just a means to an end. It was just a barrier that was there. There was no intent or direct knowledge or instruction to anyone on the ground on Jan. 6 to traverse a black fence, attack or dismember a black fence.
How many layers removed does my client have to be to still be found responsible for these other ppl’s actions?
AUSA CONOR MULROE: I want to address this point Mr.Jauregui keeps making about Tarrio’s lack of contact with PBs. This notion that Tarrio was completely incommunicado – that just wasn’t what was in evidence. He was speaking to coconspirators on the phone and Facetime,…with Nordean, and Bertino, he was active in chats on the evening of the 5th, talking about getting live streams to keep up with action.
[Mulroe references an exhibit] There was in fact a completed call between Tarrio and Biggs that lasted 42 seconds that was described at trial.
KELLY: There was never evidence presented about the content of that call so it’s a bit murky here.
AUSA CONOR MULROE: I’d also like to note something, Mr. Jauregui argued that Mr. Tarrio comes from a country where there are no rights. Tarrio is Afro-Cuban, but he was born in America. If I am mistaken, happy to correct that, but I believe he was born in Florida.
KELLY: The terrorism adjustment will apply to count 6 (for Tarrio) He adds 12 levels to that count. Nordean, Biggs participation in the destruction of the black fence is a federal crime of terrorism because it was meant to intimidate/coerce the federal government. Even though govt is not asking me to apply the adjustment – and aside how it plays out re: other convictions, the seditious conspiracy conviction in particular reveals defendants conclusion that they conspired to use force… to oppose authority of US, execution of law.
The only real question is whether the destruction of the fence was calculated for that broader purpose… I do think it was. The fence held the crowd back, tearing it down allowing the whole mob to advance on Cap, attack law enforcement, and halt proceedings. It took them one step closer to the conspiracy the jury concluded they shared.
What that means for Tarrio: he’s equally responsible for Nordean and Biggs’ conduct offense to the fence. That’s enough to apply the enhancement to Tarrio’s conviction. In that sense, his responsibility stems from his own intent found by the jury to enter an ag. to use force against govt.
So even if Tarrio, did not directly participate in the fence’s destruction, his intent on seditious conspiracy supports the application of terrorism adjustment. So now on count 6, offense level is 32
JAUREGUI: I think my client was the leader of the Proud Boys, definitely not the leader of Jan. 6. Not his plan, not his idea, not what he wanted.
KELLY: I do think evidence of Tarrio’s leadership was, quite frankly, evident through trial…through the creation of MOSD less than a day after there was a call for Trump’s supporters to come to DC on 1/6. Also, Biggs told Tarrio it was time to get radical, real men.
Tarrio set the rules, pitched the chapter to the PB elders, led the call for members and furthermore, I think these chats were full of instances where Tarrio organized meetings, groups conduct. His arrest ultimately kept him from grounds on jan. 6 but there was evidence that Tarrio still exercised leadership over MOSD and PBs leading up to the event.
Even as of the morning of the 6th, there was the msg where Biggs is saying, I’ve spoken with Tarrio and I think there are numerous examples where Tarrio is in contact or attempting to be in contact with folks on the ground that day.
Tarrio posted ON JAN 6 during the riot: “Don’t fucking leave” Not all conspiracies need to be concealed, sometimes it can happen right out in the open. Tarrio makes the point that just being a leadr of PBs doesnt make him a leadr under this guideline or quite candidly for the way I am to consider the offense here. And I think undeniably, he is right. But..the jury did not convict him of being associated with PBs. They convicted him of seditious conspiracy and quite apart from role in PBs eidence showed quite clearly he was a leader of conspiracies that jury found him guilty of. I might add, there were plenty of members of PB chapters across the country that had no role in what happened that day at all. Tarrio argues he didnt direct anyone to enter capitol specifically, but his leadership was in evidence throughout the trial, incl. instruction on social media “dont fucking leave.” So i do find, tarrio was the top of the command structure in re: of planning and org offens, so upward level of 4 in role of offense, brings us to a 36.
In regards to the obstruction of justice adjustment, the PBs saying ‘we will remove him (tarrio) from chats going fwd’ not same as deleting msgs; a voice msg involving Pezzola about “hanging together” if caught.
MULORE: This offense involved numerous participants. There were close to 200 on ground and then partial separate overlapping group in planning chats in lead up to the sixth. if the leader reaches them, hey guys in jail need to know we got their backs, it seems to me most natural reading of that is ‘don’t cooperate’ we can’t prove negative but think that factors in.
KELLY: I do find this interesting. if 1 co-defendant says to another co-defendant, after offense is completed, hey dont talk to police – is that obstruction? i mean every person has right to talk to police or not. i’m not saying its crazy for govt to think that this might have had that effect…Tarrio is very active at the table, unlike his defendants who mostly sat back and let the attorneys work – he’s conferring with them often, pulls Jauregui aside to point things out…
JAUREGUI: The voice message to Pezzola from Tarrio were, “We don’t know if that was to law enforcement or to the media seeking comment” How do we know if it was meant to obstruct police or process or anything at all?
KELLY: Kelly consults a statute and declines to enhancement for obstruction of justice charge; He notes offense level 36; crim history category 6, puts Tarrio at guideline sentencing range of 324 mos-405 months, or 27 YEARS to 33 years. Govt asked for 33.
The penalties for counts 1-3 are 20 years Count 4: 6 years Count 5: 5 years Count 6: 10 years Supervised release will be required after serving time, term of supervised release not more than 3 years per count; term would be 1-3 years per count.
The max fine is 250K and Tarrio’s fine will fall somewhere between $40-250k. We have not heard a sentence yet, please note. We have just heard the range. There is a bit more to get through before we get to the actual sentencing.
[The court reporter does not want a break]
MULROE: Tarrio was the leader of this conspiracy. He was on a tier all his own and playing a role qualitatively different than others. We are asking for 33 years and ask the court not to vary downward, but if inclined, he should still be sentenced well above his co-defendants…
You summed it up perfectly – if we don’t have the peaceful transfer of power, then we don’t have anything. That’s exactly right. This defendant and his coconspirators targeted our entire system of government. [Tarrio is facing the judge]
This crime hurt people, It hurt a lot of people, Mulroe said. We heard from Officer Cooney; she testified about the heartbreak of fighting for her life against fellow citizens claiming to be patriots.
Inspector Loyd spoke of the horrifying experience of seeing his officers injured, fighting alongside them at the west front Officer Ode described the physical agony he suffered and memories he called the deep marks that never fully heal.
MULROE : Every single one of [the officers injured] still bears scars from that day…. This defendant portrayed these officers as enemies of the people. This offense also involved extensive damage to property and millions in broader damage to bldg and grounds.
The Architect of the Capitol testified about the damages, and how the Capitol was a place for Americans to visit and be inspired, The conspiracy Mr. Tarrio orchestrated defiled that place. And he celebrated that. This all took place because of a critical mass of people. It started out small. But it was a critical mass of people who tried to use force and violence to try and impose their view of what was right for the country. The proud boys marching group was not a drop in the bucket – they were a tidal wave [that lanched] the events on the ground at Peace Circle, at fencing, Mulroe argues. First wave of rioters comprised MANY Proud Boys. Proud of yall, he said. Do it again, he said. The actions of that group were absolutely pivotal as to what happened on Jan. 6 and they followed directly, The plotting and planning of their leader Enrique Tarrio.
That leadership is relevant to offense conduct but the way he led PB goes beyond the offense of conviction and that broader pattern of leadership is relevant to his history and characteristics.
This was not the fact that he was chairman of the PB, this was the WAY he exercised this leadership. The refrain from defense since this case began was PBs were nothing more than a drinking club with a politics problem. Harmless. and that probably true for some members some of the time. but this member promoted a very different direction.
Tarrios leadership was about violence and manipulation. He demonized his perceived adversaries, glorified the use of force, and distributed violent propaganda to 1000s and 1000s of followers. he elevated the street fighting element with so-called rally boys and he practiced and endorsed use of misinformation, plausible deniability, deceiving the public, and “cultivating fear” – those were his words- he compared himself to Joseph Goebbels in use of these techniques.
Tarro has a prior federal conviction for conspiracy. That sets him apart. Mulroe: So when he was organizing with his co-defendants, he knew what a conspiracy was. he knew what he was doing and did it anyway.
[Kelly sentences Tarrio to 22 years in prison for “his role at the top of a plot to stop the certification of the 2020 election. Tarrio’s is now the longest Jan. 6 sentence to date. ]
KELLY: I think this is an absolutely proper sentence. Nonetheless, if you do seek a path away from where you were on Jan. 6, I wish you all the best.