Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Far-right Proud Boys leader charged in US Capitol attack, Texas man convicted



Far-right Proud Boys leader charged in US Capitol attack, Texas man convicted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio, the former ‘national chairman’ of the Proud Boys, is the second top leader of a right-wing militant group to be arrested since the start of the year in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob. AFP

Far-right Proud Boys leader charged in US Capitol attack, Texas man convicted

A leader of the far-right Proud Boys group was arrested on Tuesday for his role in the storming of the US Capitol and a Texas man was found guilty of all charges in the first trial stemming from the attack on Congress by supporters of Donald Trump.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 38, was arrested in Miami and indicted on conspiracy and other charges, the Justice Department said.

Tarrio, the former “national chairman” of the Proud Boys, is the second top leader of a right-wing militant group to be arrested since the start of the year in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob.

Stewart Rhodes, 56, founder of the Oath Keepers, has been charged with seditious conspiracy along with 10 other members of the anti-government group – the most serious of the charges filed so far in the sprawling investigation of the storming of the Capitol.

Tarrio, who was not in Washington the day of the attack, was charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of law enforcement, destruction of government property and other offenses.

Five other members of the Proud Boys were arrested previously for their involvement in the Capitol riot and have pleaded not guilty.

More than 775 people have been arrested in connection with the attack on Congress and nearly 220 have pleaded guilty to various charges.

The trial of the first Capitol riot defendant to plead not guilty concluded with his swift conviction on all charges on Tuesday.

A jury found Guy Reffitt, 49, guilty of bringing a gun to Washington, interfering with police and impeding an official proceeding – the certification by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

Reffitt, a member of a right-wing militia group called the Texas Three Percenters, was also found guilty of threatening his teenaged son and daughter if they spoke to law enforcement about his involvement in the attack on the Capitol.

Reffitt’s then 18-year-old son did go to the FBI despite his father’s warning that “traitors get shot” and delivered emotional testimony against his father in court.

The case against Reffitt, an oil industry worker from Wylie, Texas, was closely watched for its potential bearing on future prosecutions of other Capitol riot defendants.

The 12-person jury deliberated for just a few hours before finding Reffitt guilty of all five charges against him.

Video of Reffitt confronting police on the steps of the Capitol and urging on the pro-Trump crowd was played repeatedly for the jury during four days of testimony in a federal court in Washington.

“Guy Reffitt lit the fire of the very first group of rioters that breached the Capitol,” prosecutor Risa Berkower said. “The vigilante mob was ignited by the defendant.

“The election didn’t yield the results he wanted so he took matters into his own hands,” Berkower said.

Reffitt was wearing body armor and a helmet, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and armed with a .40 caliber handgun when he arrived at the Capitol, according to prosecutors.

Reffitt is to be sentenced on June 8. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment of Tarrio states that while he was not on the scene on January 6, he “led the advance planning and remained in contact with other members of the Proud Boys during their breach of the Capitol.”

Tarrio was arrested on January 4 of last year on a warrant charging him with destruction of property in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner at a church in Washington.

He was released and ordered to stay out of Washington.

The storming of the Capitol left at least five people dead and 140 police officers injured and followed a fiery speech by Trump to thousands of his supporters near the White House.

Trump was impeached for a historic second time by the House after the Capitol riot – he was charged with inciting an insurrection – but was acquitted by the Senate.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a