Federal prosecutors want to toss Proud Boys' leader Enrique Tarrio in prison for 33-years, and slap his associates with prison terms ranging from 20 years to 30 years, for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 breach, which would make it the longest punishment doled out over the incident if imposed.
"The scope of the defendants’ conspiracy is vast. The defendants organized and directed a force of nearly 200 to attack the heart of our democracy," reads a DOJ sentencing memo filed at the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday. "The government’s evidence showed that all five defendants were motivated to use force to stop the certification proceedings in order to keep former President Donald J. Trump in power."
"The government recommends that the Court impose a lengthy sentence of imprisonment on each defendant. Specifically, Enrique Tarrio should serve 33 years in prison; Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, 30 years; Ethan Nordean, 27 years; and Dominic Pezzola, 20 years."
Tarrio - who wasn't even at the Capitol on Jan. 6 - was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in May, along with Biggs, Nodean and Rehl, for which prosecutors have sought to impose the longest prison terms. Pezolla was acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge, but was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and conspiracy to prevent Congress and federal law enforcement from performing their duties.
As Julie Kelly wrote via American Greatness in March:
Five Proud Boys, including the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, are accused of conspiring to “oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force” on January 6, 2021. It is Attorney General Merrick Garland’s most consequential case related to January 6; convictions will help build a similar case against Donald Trump largely based on his infamous “stand back and stand by” remark to the Proud Boys during an October 2020 presidential debate.
Most of the evidence is nothing more than inflammatory, braggadocious chatter in group texts; Tarrio wasn’t even present at the Capitol on January 6. Another defendant, Ethan Nordean, can be seen on surveillance video walking through an open door as Capitol police stood nearby.
Similar to other so-called “militia” groups tied to January 6, no one brought weapons to the Capitol that day; no one was charged with assaulting police officers or lawmakers. A key piece of evidence that prosecutors claimed was a road map for the “attack” on the Capitol wasn’t produced by any Proud Boy but by a former intelligence asset who himself sent the plan to Tarrio through a third party.
The 33-year sentence is almost double that of Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, who was sentenced to 18-years in prison in May.
Informants, informants everywhere
As Julie Kelly further noted in March:
At least 10 and possibly up to 15 FBI informants were embedded in the group months before and continuing after the events of January 6. Informants participated in numerous group chats, cozied up to leadership, and even accompanied the Proud Boys to Washington.
One known informant, according to a September 2021 New York Times report, was involved in the first breach of Capitol grounds and entered the building that afternoon.
Many have speculated that the harsh treatment of J6 defendants portends how the DOJ is going to treat former President Trump.
As the Epoch Times notes;
Special Counsel Jack Smith, who filed the Jan. 6 indictment, is accusing the former president of violating Section 241 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, arguing that President Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results threatened lawful votes cast by voters for President Biden.
Violators of Section 241 can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years. In case the violation results in sexual abuse, kidnapping, or death, the accused can also be sentenced to life imprisonment or death.
The judge set to preside over the case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, is an Obama appointee who has sentenced at least 38 people involved in the Jan. 6 breach and is known to hand out harsher punishments than what government prosecutors have requested.
Jan. 6 Defendants' Lawyers Blame Trump
In the Jan. 6 case (pdf) against Mr. Tarrio and the four other individuals, prosecutors insist that the defendants “embraced their role in bringing about a ‘revolution.’”
“They unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election. The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals,” the prosecutors argued.
“The actions of these defendants threatened the bedrock principles of our country—democracy and the rule of law. These defendants sought out and embraced their role as the purveyors of street violence to achieve their political objectives.”
Defense attorneys argued that their clients hatched no conspiracy nor had a plan to attack the U.S. Capitol and sought to characterize the breach as a spontaneous action that was fueled by President Trump’s claims.
Mr. Tarrio’s lawyers argued that President Trump is to be blamed for asking a crowd outside the White House to “fight like hell” on the day. A lawyer for Mr. Rehl and Mr. Biggs insisted that “believing the commander in chief and heeding his call should yield some measure of mitigation.”
“The defendants are not terrorists. Whatever excesses of zeal they demonstrated on January 6, 2021, and no matter how grave the potential interference with the orderly transfer of power due to the events of that day, a decade or more behind bars is an excessive punishment,” attorney Norm Pattis stated.
Two of the charges that Mr. Tarrio and his co-defendants face are the same that President Trump has been charged with—conspiracy to obstruct Congress and obstruction of Congress’ certification of President Biden’s victory.
Mr. Tarrio and his co-defendants will be subjected to several hearings beginning later this month at a federal court in Washington, the same court where President Trump had pleaded not guilty in his Jan. 6 indictment.
Meanwhile, President Trump has argued that it is “impossible” for him to get a fair trial in D.C. The place is “over 95 percent anti-Trump,” he said in an Aug. 3 Truth Social post.
The President Trump expressed hope that the case may be “moved to an impartial venue, such as the politically unbiased nearby State of West Virginia!”
A survey (pdf) by The Economist/YouGov conducted earlier this month asked respondents whether they think “Donald Trump can get a fair trial in Washington, D.C.”
Only 40 percent replied “Yes.” While 39 percent of respondents said “No,” 21 percent replied that they’re “not sure.”