An attorney representing Tarrio said he and his client "respectfully disagree" with the judge’s decision
Enrique Tarrio, a former leader of the Proud Boys, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the United States Capitol.
On Tuesday, Tarrio appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit as District Judge Timothy Kelly gave him the longest sentence of anyone involved in the 2021 Capitol Riots, according to CNN.
During the early 2021 headline-making incident, scores of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power as Joe Biden was declared president of the United States following Trump’s presidency.
“It is kind of hard to put into words how important the peaceful transfer of power is,” Judge Kelly said. “Our country was founded as an experiment in self-government by the people, but it cannot long endure if the way we elect our leaders is threatened with force and violence.”
“Mr. Tarrio was the ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organized, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal,” Judge Kelly said at the end of the three-hour hearing, stating that he has shown “no remorse.”
“What happened that day did not honor the founders, it was the kind of thing they wrote the Constitution to prevent,” the judge continued.
Nayib Hassan, an attorney representing Tarrio, spoke to reporters outside of the courthouse once the verdict came in. He said that both he and his client “respectfully disagree” with the judge’s decision.
“It caught us off guard,” Hassan said. The lawyer then hinted at an appeal, adding, “That’s what the appellate process is for.”
Before his sentencing, Tarrio, 39, told the court he was sorry for the “pain and suffering” his actions caused. He promised that moving forward, he would no longer participate in “politics, groups, activism or rallies.”
“I have always tried to hold myself to a higher standard and I failed,” he said. “I held myself morally above others, and this trial has shown me how wrong I was.”
Tarrio also told Judge Kelly he “spent the last year and a half trying to figure out how I ended up at this podium. On November 3, 2020, something that I never expected happened — my candidate lost. I felt like something was personally stolen from me. Every media channel that I turned to told me I was justified.”
The former Proud Boys Chairman denounced his organization’s actions, adding, “I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the outcome of the election was not my goal.”
Some in the D.C. courthouse did not agree with Tarrio’s words.
Prosecutor Conor Mulroe spoke out against Tarrio, arguing that he has a “toxic ability to control others.”
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“These are men who would never strap a bomb to their chest or sign up for a training camp, but they are thrilled by the notion of traveling from city to city and beating their advisories senseless in a street fight,” Mulroe continued.
In December 2021, just one month prior to the insurrection, Tarrio was associated with a mob that vandalized a Black Lives Matter banner from a historic church in downtown Washington. The banner was also set on fire. Video shared on social media showed accelerants being used to set the banner ablaze.
Tarrio later spoke to The Washington Post about the incident and admitted that he participated in the burning of the banner.
At the time, he told the outlet that he would plead guilty to the destruction of property and reimburse the church for the cost of the banner.
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