- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2021

Proud Boys chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio offered assistance Thursday to supporters of President Trump facing charges for storming the Capitol building during the deadly insurrection the day before.

“We will find attorneys to represent you if needed. We will help raise you money for your legal defense,” Mr. Tarrio said on the social media service Parler. “You are not alone.”

Mr. Tarrio, 36, originally planned to join fellow Proud Boys and other Trump supporters in the nation’s capital this week to protest the results of the president’s failed race for reelection.

However, Mr. Tarrio’s plans fell through when he was arrested Monday shortly upon arriving in Washington, in connection with the burning last month of a stolen “Black Lives Matter” church sign.

Mr. Tarrio was arrested while in possession of high-capacity firearm magazines, which are illegal in Washington, and a judge accordingly ordered him Tuesday to stay out of the city until his next court date.

Thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters rallied the next day near the White House before walking down the road to the Capitol where Congress was meeting to count the electoral votes affirming his defeat.

Mobs of Trump supporters then stormed the Capitol during an unprecedented raid that resulted in numerous deaths, arrests and injuries, in turn prompting calls for the president’s immediate removal.

Banned in D.C., Mr. Tarrio reacted to the raid as it unfolded on Parler, the social media platform, where he lauded some of the insurrectionists as heroic “Revolutionaries” and insisted they stay put.

“Don’t f–king leave,” Mr. Tarrio said in one of his Parler postings Wednesday. “Proud Of My Boys and my country,” he said in another.

Proud Boys, a men-only group started in 2016, bills itself as being composed of self-described “western chauvinists.” Mr. Tarrio, a former Republican congressional candidate, has led it since 2019.

Mr. Trump drew attention to Proud Boys during a presidential debate in September when he addressed the group by name in response to being asked to condemn white supremacists and right-wing militias.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Mr. Trump said during the debate.

Mr. Tarrio subsequently claimed his group was “swamped with new prospects” after being mentioned by Mr. Trump and that it adjusted its vetting process to handle the surge of potential new Proud Boys.

Hundreds of Proud Boys, including Mr. Tarrio, later rallied last month in D.C., when several took a “Black Lives Matter” sign from a church and set it on fire. Several people were also stabbed.

Mr. Tarrio, who visited the White House several hours earlier, said he was one of the Proud Boys responsible for setting fire to the sign. He has been charged with destruction of property.

Several known Proud Boys were among fellow Trump supporters during this week’s insurgency at the Capitol. Nicholas R. Ochs, the founder of the group’s Hawaii chapter, shared a selfie from inside.

While it is yet to be seen how much the Proud Boys might be able to muster in donations to help cover the defense bills of rioters, the group has previously been relatively successful at raising funds.

An online fundraiser set up to cover Mr. Tarrio’s legal bills has raised more than $113,000 in the five days following his arrest. Another seeking donations for protective equipment and communications gear has raised nearly $5,000.

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