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‘Calculated act of terrorism’: Proud Boys leader gets 22 years jail

The former chairman of the right-wing Proud Boys group has been sentenced to decades in prison for his role in the assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters trying to overturn the former president’s election defeat.

Trump supporters who broke into the US Capitol gather outside the House of Representatives where Congress was ratifying the former president's election loss. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Trump supporters who broke into the US Capitol gather outside the House of Representatives where Congress was ratifying the former president's election loss. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Enrique Tarrio was given the longest sentence so far handed down in connection with the January 6, 2021 riots despite not being present at the Capitol Building that day.

“This was a calculated act of terrorism,” federal prosecutors said on Tuesday during a sentencing hearing in US District Court for the District of Columbia.

“He practiced, and he endorsed the use of misinformation.”

Tarrio was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in planning the storming of the Capitol, when thousands of Trump supporters sought to stop Congress from certifying the results of an election he falsely claimed had been tainted by widespread fraud.

Proud Boys jail

Armed police inside the barricaded House Chamber stop Trump supporters from entering to stop Congress ratifying Donald Trump’s election loss. Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Prosecutors had asked District Judge Timothy Kelly to sentence Tarrio to 33 years behind bars, saying he helped direct the attack from Baltimore.

Tarrio’s lawyers had asked for a substantially shorter sentence.

Trump supporters break into the US Capitol. Photo: Lev Radin/Sipa USA

Kelly last week sentenced Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, to 18 years, 17 years and 15 years in prison respectively for seditious conspiracy. Oath Keepers militia founder Stewart Rhodes in May was also sentenced to 18 years.

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More than 1100 people have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol assault. At least 630 have pleaded guilty and at least 110 have been convicted at trial.

Five people, including a police officer, died during or shortly after the riot and more than 140 police officers were injured. The Capitol suffered millions of dollars in damage.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was tapped to investigate broader efforts to overturn the 2020 election, has charged Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, for trying to keep himself in power.

-with AAP

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