The indictment is a further proof of how far the Justice Department is going to prosecute the leaders of extremist groups whose members are suspected to have planned and attacked the U.S. Capitol, even if they weren’t in attendance themselves. The latest conspiracy charge zeroes in on organized groups that plotted in advance — as federal prosecutors distinguish them from hundreds of other supporters of then-President Donald Trump who were at the scene that day and were charged.
A leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group was arrested Tuesday on a conspiracy charge for his suspected role in a coordinated attack on the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory, AP reports.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio wasn’t there when the riot erupted on Jan. 6, 2021. Police had arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the riot and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church during a protest in December 2020. The day before the Capitol was attacked, a judge ordered Tarrio to stay out of Washington.
But Tarrio didn’t leave town as he should have, the indictment said. Instead, he met with Oath Keepers founder and leader Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes and others in an underground parking garage for approximately 30 minutes.
“During this encounter, a participant referenced the Capitol,” the indictment says.
Tarrio was scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami later in the day.
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