Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio said in a jailhouse interview that federal prosecutors tried to "coerce" him into implicating former President Donald Trump in the Capitol riot.
"They weren’t trying to get the truth," Tarrio told the Washginton Post. "They were trying to coerce me into signing something that’s not true."
Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week by US District Judge Timothy Kelly, despite the fact that he wasn't at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
"I was looking and seeking what the plea offer would look like, right?" Tarrio said. "They didn’t want to give me a number. I need a number. To me, the most important thing is when I get home to my family."
...prosecutors asked him what role then-President Donald Trump played in getting the Proud Boys to attack the Capitol. He said the prosecutors, accompanied by FBI agents in the Miami jail where Tarrio was being held at the time, showed him messages that he exchanged with a second person, who in turn was connected to a third person who was connected to Trump. Tarrio said he told the investigators that he didn’t know the third person. He refused to name the people who prosecutors said allegedly connected him to Trump. -WaPo
He also told the Post that "there was never an open-ended question after" the feds tried to get him to implicate Trump.
Tarrio said prosecutors in Miami last fall did not ask him about Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant who was an acquaintance of Tarrio’s, or Ali Alexander, a promoter of the “Stop the Steal” rally. He said the federal visitors did not ask him questions about his knowledge of Jan. 6 beyond the theorized connection to Trump. “There was never an open-ended question after that,” Tarrio said.
Prosecutors did later offer Tarrio a deal: nine to 11 years in prison if he pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, according to court records. Tarrio declined.
During his sentencing hearing, Judge Kelley said Tarrio was the "ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organized, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal."
There have been 370 individuals sentenced to prison in connection with the Capitol riot out of 1,100 people charged in the incident.