Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida, Sunrise Exposed: Proud Boys Hate Group Leader Enrique Tarrio Was “Prolific” FBI & Police Informant

Now the quarantine report – i’m amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. We end today’s, show with a stunning story about the proud boys, the violent trump supporting, far right hate group that took part in the capital insurrection. Three weeks ago, reuters revealed wednesday the group’s leader, enrique tario, has a passed as a prolific informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators, reuters cites the transcript of a 2014 court hearing where a prosecutor argued for a reduced sentence for tario. In a case by telling the judge quote, i’ve never had a client as prolific in terms of cooperating in any respect, he’s talking about cooperating with the government. The news comes just over three weeks after tario was arrested in washington prior to the insurrection for turning uh. For burning a black lives matter banner at a historically black church in washington d.c during a december protest tario also faced weapons charges because he had illegal high capacity magazines of ammunition on him. At the time of the arrest, enrique tario has led the proud boy since 2018. for more we’re joined by aaron rosten investigative journalist at reuters, his exclusive reporter’s headline, proud boys leader, was prolific and former for law enforcement. So aaron talk about the significance of what you found who exactly he is and also interesting that he was arrested right before the insurrection, so he couldn’t take part in it. Um tell us a story from the beginning, so uh, enrique tario is, of course, the leader of the proud boys he’s very high profile.

Now you we’ve seen we’ve all seen him in videos of uh leading the proud boys in portland or or washington dc and in prior rallies. They called them. He um so we uh of a hearing he had for a 2012 case, uh criminal case in miami a federal case in miami. In that hearing, as you as you mentioned, it was an effort to reduce his sentence a 30 month sentence by by telling a federal judge about the extent of his cooperation. The federal prosecutor, an fbi agent and his own defense lawyer, listed sort of numerous cases in which enrique tario had cooperated with, with with local authorities and investigations, including undercover, multiple undercover investigations. He said and uh on the federal level. They said he helped put 13 people. You know prosecute 13 13 people on federal cases, um. We thought the significance was because, of course, he his current organization. The proud boys is very closely linked to this uh to you know, to the investigations. Go that’s going on now by the fb by the fbi into what happened at capitol hill on on january 6th, so enrique tario told reuters quote. I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this, but after your story broke, he wrote on telegram, quote the article sensationalizes the fact that in this case there was some heavy cooperating. He went on to say he had quote addressed this before in podcasts and other interviews.

Unquote, ontario also wrote quote: they’ve proven that if you cooperate with the u.s government, they will hang you out to dry. So my question is: is it worth it? Can you talk about his response and also the history of the proud boys who they are this violent white, supremacist male chauvinist murderous group killed law enforcement in in oakland california, for example, officer underwood, um? Well, the the the i i’m not sure if that, if the proud voice was involved in that in that case or not, but let me talk to you about yeah, exactly yeah uh the which are which are a different sort of movement um. That said, the proud boys have been involved in many violent clashes, um and um. Obviously, in the january 6 case, they they were founded really in in 2016, as this sort of uh opposition to what you know the so called uh. You know political correctness and this idea that it would give men who were silenced a voice and these sort of things and it sort of was they. They often call themselves a drinking club and then they say they, they they’ll say the drinking club with a patriotism problem, that’s that’s the way they often define themselves but but they’ve been evolved into a pretty political uh, powerful political force and you’ve seen them enrique tario. You know he’s been photographed with with numerous you know: sort of uh political heavyweights um he took over in 2018 and when i say took over, he was elected as their chairman he’s, the most vocal person fleeting with them he’s the most recognizable person with them um And um you, you mentioned his uh response here, it’s clearly at odds we’re, relying on on a federal uh.

You know a court hearing a transcript of what what actually happened in court, an assistant u.s attorney his own lawyer and an fbi agent go through these issues of of cooperation uh with with the uh with the government, which included you know. As we said, you know, his own lawyer described this undercover operation, where he he purportedly was was trying to again at the lawyers at own risk to pay uh. You know uh people to bring in sort of a um imaginary, to agree to bring in people to do something illegal um and he was uh. He was doing this undercover um, so we thought this was significant because of the way the fbi is looking at him at the at the agency at the proud boys now um his you mentioned his criminal case. He he uh the first criminal. He was arrested in 2000 uh in january on january, 4th 2021, just just days before january 6. When everybody knew something was going to happen, people thought it was going to be a large rally at the time that’s. What the public was told he was arrested and later the fbi said it was sort of his arrest was sort of part of an effort to preempt anything that might have happened. Um we don’t know exactly what they mean that’s, what they said. As you said, he was arrested on really a misdemeanor charge of of burning this black lives matter banner uh he’d admitted to that on social media.

He said he knew he was going to be arrested in dc um, yet he did have on him. You know, according to the charging documents and uh, he had these high capacity magazines, which are specifically and well known to be illegal in in washington dc. They were magazines, the rifle magazines uh with proud boys, insignia on them. Well, the department of homeland security has been warning of a heightened threat of domestic extremist violence from people angry at trump’s election defeat and inspired by the storming of the us capital earlier this month. What role do you think the proud boys uh played in that and the larger threat of white supremacist violence uh in the u.s? What will happen to this group now uh under the biden administration it’s really hard to see and what will happen with them? I mean they clearly there’s lots of groups out there i mean we owned we’ve. Now we’ve become um uh. You know so familiar with these three percenters, the boogaloos, the the oath keepers, um, uh and and, of course, the the proud boys um. What role they played – and this i don’t know, but it is clear from some of the arrests that took place in the uh over the um capitol hill riot. That was, you know that resulted in five deaths. It is clear that at least five proud boy members or you know known pro boy members uh were – were arrested and so they’re they’re, embroiled it’s they’re, clearly part of that investigation.

And do you have any information that um that enrique tario is an informant today? No, no, certainly, no, we don’t. We do not have of that information and information is a term of art right um. He was uh helping police in any way, but for the fbi likes to sort of have specifical a specific uh sort of uses that term. For a specific relationship they have with forces or informers um it’s unclear, but he was clearly doing many things. As we said, he was just providing information and back then he was providing information. He was going undercover for local um police departments um. So but after that we don’t know what what happened. We did say in the story. He told us that he had inf uh, told police departments of upcoming rallies um to be helpful. That is uh. You know uh. Well, it was he.

What do you think?

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