Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison for orchestrating his far-right extremist group’s attack on the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to stop the transfer of presidential power after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.
Tarrio’s sentence is the longest so far among more than 1,100 Capitol riot cases, topping the 18-year sentences that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and one-time Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean both received after juries convicted them of seditious conspiracy and other charges.
It comes as the Justice Department prepares to put Trump on trial at the same courthouse in Washington on charges that the then-president illegally schemed to cling to power that he knew had been stripped away by voters.
The Tarrio case — and hundreds of others like it — function as a vivid reminder of the violent chaos fueled by Trump’s lies around the election and the extent to which his false claims helped inspire right-wing extremists who ultimately stormed the Capitol to thwart the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
Rising to speak before the sentence was handed down, Tarrio pleaded for leniency, describing Jan. 6 as a “national embarrassment,” and apologizing to the police officers who defended the Capitol and the lawmakers who fled in fear. His voice cracked as he expressed remorse for letting down his family and vowed that he is done with politics.
“Make no mistake,” Tarrio wrote in another message. “We did this.”
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