An investigation by Reuters has revealed that 36-year-old Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right vigilante group, the Proud Boys, was a “prolific” confidential informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local Florida police following a 2012 arrest for fraud related to relabeling and selling stolen diabetes test kits.
According to a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters, which had statements from a former prosecutor, an FBI agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer, Tarrio worked undercover for federal authorities and local police helping to prosecute 13 people in cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling.
Tarrio’s unmasking isn’t surprising. Far-right militias such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the III Percenters, all of which participated in the January 6 coup attempt on the Capitol, are riddled with police, current and former military members and paid agents of the state. While the Proud Boys is not an entirely state-run organization, there is no doubt that Tarrio is not the only agent provocateur operating in the group.
The revelation further underscores the need for a full public investigation into the fascist insurrection on January 6, including all communications made between Tarrio, police, federal agents and Republican politicians. In an interview last year, Tarrio boasted of his fondness for Trump and the close connections he had with the campaign, claiming that he “personally knocked on 40,000 doors for the president” and was a close personal friend of long-time Trump political crony and fixer, Roger Stone.
When confronted with the court transcript by a Reuters journalist, Tarrio suffered an apparent bout of amnesia. “I don’t recall any of this,” he said. The former federal prosecutor in Tarrio’s case, Vanessa Singh Johannes, told Reuters that Tarrio, “cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes.”
Tarrio’s then-lawyer Jeffery Feiler, said in court proceedings that Tarrio was instrumental in helping police uncover three marijuana grow houses, and was a “prolific” cooperator. The FBI agent called Tarrio a “key component” in local police investigations involving marijuana, cocaine and MDMA, or ecstasy.
Tarrio's fascist, racist and anti-Semitic organization, which Donald Trump infamously ordered to “stand back and stand by” during a presidential debate last September, has a history of cozying up to police departments across the country in order to terrorize protesters against police violence.
Last July, it was revealed that dozens of Philadelphia Proud Boys were welcomed to listen to a speech Vice President Mike Pence gave at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 headquarters in Pennsylvania. Roughly two months later, Proud Boys were videotaped shaking hands with Philadelphia police after they staged a fascist march through the city, flashing white power signs while denouncing leftists and “Antifa” as terrorists.
The far-right group was founded by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016, who publicly dissociated himself from the organization in 2018 after it was revealed by the Guardian that the FBI had categorized the fascist gang as “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” After McInnes stepped down as the public face, Tarrio was elected the leader of the group.
Tarrio was arrested by DC police on January 4 on a misdemeanor count of destruction of property. He was also charged with two felony counts of possession of high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices, otherwise known as extended magazines. A warrant for his arrest was made after he live-streamed himself on December 12 burning a “Black Lives Matter” banner that was stolen from the Asbury Methodist Church.
Police claimed four churches were vandalized the same night Tarrio and the Proud Boys burned the BLM banner. Overall, three dozen were arrested in melées between Proud Boys and local anti-racist and anti-police violence protesters.
However, in light of the events of January 6, it cannot be ruled out that Tarrio’s arrest was meant to shield the leader of the Proud Boys from incriminating himself due to the events that would unfold less than 48 hours later.
Unearthed video, taken by Txtwire CEO Daniel Beck, has shed further light on the intimate coordination between the Republican party and Trump’s inner circle in planning the coup. The video and subsequent reporting have revealed that a large meeting was held at “the private residence of the President” in his Trump International Hotel in Washington on January 5. Those in attendance included:
* Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump, Trump’s eldest and second-eldest son
* Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to Trump, who previously argued that Trump should declare martial law and “rerun the election.” Flynn also spoke at the “Jericho March” held in DC, which joined the “Stop the Steal/March to Save America” group that stormed the Capitol
* Peter Navarro, assistant to the president, director of trade and manufacturing policy, and National Defense Production Act policy coordinator
* Corey Lewandowski, 2016 Trump campaign manager
* David Bossie, 2016 Trump deputy campaign manager
* Adam Piper, executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). Piper stepped down earlier this month after it was revealed that RAGA had sent out hundreds of thousands of automated messages urging Trump supporters to attend the January 6 rally
* Charles Herbster, wealthy Nebraska rancher and prospective gubernatorial candidate, national chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee for the Trump administration
* Tommy Tuberville, Republican senator from Alabama, who voted to overturn the election results January 6 after the failure of the insurrection
* Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. Giuliani spoke at the Ellipse on January 6, urging Trump’s fascistic mob to engage in “trial by combat.”
* Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr.
* Michael Lindell, Trump donor and MyPillow CEO.
In a January 5 Facebook post, Herbster claimed that all of the above were in attendance at the hotel. He wrote that “these faithful servants of freedom need our prayers as well as the US Congress. Tomorrow on Capitol Hill, they [will] open sealed electoral voting certificates from each state. This joint session is the last official chance for our members of Congress to object to the widespread voter fraud that happened on November 3.”
In an appearance on the January 6 edition of Breitbart News Daily, Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander claimed that he spoke to Kimberly Guilfoyle on the evening of January 5 regarding the group’s efforts to overturn the election. Alexander said that Trump was in “fighter mode.” He added that Guilfoyle had told him “none of us are stopping,” and that “this is the party of Trump.”
In an earlier article by the Omaha World-Herald, Herbster confirmed that the group discussed how they could “pressure” members of Congress to object to the Electoral College results and overturn the election.
Despite these startling revelations, President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have not demanded further investigations, nor the arrest of those involved.