Tarrio and others had a nine-page plan to occupy key buildings on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, prosecutors say.
Enrique Tarrio, the former top leader of the US right-wing group Proud Boys, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to criminal charges accusing him of plotting to block Congress to certify the electoral victory of President Joe Biden in 2020 before last year’s attack on the United States Capitol.
Tarrio’s attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf during a virtual hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The judge announced a postponement of the scheduled start of his trial.
Tarrio, 38, is one of the most prominent of the more than 775 people criminally charged for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Biden’s victory.
Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys are accused of conspiring to block certification. The videos show that the dozens of members of the group were among the first to break through the barricades around the Capitol and then enter the building.
Although Tarrio was not present at the time of the attack, prosecutors alleged that he had an active leadership role behind the scenes.
Tarrio had been arrested in Washington, D.C.two days before the riots and was accused of ripping up a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a protest in December 2020. He was ordered to leave town.
But the day before the Capitol attack, Tarrio met the founder of Oath Keepers. stewart rhodes and others in an underground parking lot for about 30 minutes to talk about the US Capitol, prosecutors said.
Rhodes and other members of the Oath Keepers militia have also been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6 attack.
During Tuesday’s hearing, US District Judge Timothy Kelly granted a government request to postpone Tarrio’s trial date.
Tarrio was added last month as a co-defendant in the Justice Department’s case against Proud Boys leaders, and prosecutors indicated then that additional charges may be filed.
With a packed trial schedule ahead of the court, both due to caseloads and delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Kelly said he was holding off selecting a new date until attorneys on the case can consult each other. He said he would schedule a hearing for April 21 to hopefully finalize a new trial date.
On January 6, 2021, Trump had given a fiery speech to a crowd of thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House. Trump claimed, without credible evidence, that the 2020 election had been stolen through fraud and urged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill.
According to Tarrio’s indictment, on December 30, 2020, an anonymous person sent him a document that laid out plans to occupy some “critical buildings” in Washington, DC, on January 6, including the House and Congress office buildings. Senate around the Capitol.
The nine-page plan was titled “Returns of 1776” and called for having “as many people as possible” to “show our politicians that we, the people, are in charge,” the indictment says.
“The revolution is [sic] important than anything,” the person said.
“That’s what every waking moment is all about… I’m not playing,” Tarrio responded, according to the indictment.