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Police relied on video, statement to news media in arrest of Proud Boys leader accused of burning Black Lives Matter banner

In charging Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black church in downtown Washington, police relied on his statement to the news media and videos that show him crouched with others near the banner as it was being set on fire.

The arrest warrant unsealed Tuesday morning in D.C. Superior Court says video and photos posted on social media do not show Tarrio “personally lighting the banner on fire or holding an open flame to it.” But the warrant also says, “The available video does not preclude defendant Tarrio had an opportunity to apply an open flame to the banner.”

D.C. police arrested Tarrio, 36, on Monday as he arrived in the city ahead of demonstrations Tuesday and Wednesday by supporters of President Trump’s false assertions that he won the Nov. 3 presidential election. The Proud Boys are a male-chauvinist organization with ties to white nationalism.

Tarrio, who is charged as Henry Tarrio, is expected to make an initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon. He was charged in a warrant with one misdemeanor count of destruction of property in the burning of the banner, which was taken from Asbury United Methodist Church during Dec. 12 protests. Police said it would be up to the U.S. attorney’s office in the District whether to prosecute the case as a hate crime.

D.C. police said they also charged Tarrio with two felony counts of possessing high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, which is a legal term for a magazine that allows guns to hold additional bullets. Police said the devices were found during his arrest.[Proud Boys leader says he participated in burning Black Lives Matter banner taken from historic Black church]

Asbury United Methodist was among four churches vandalized the night of Dec. 12, which ended in violence. Authorities accused Proud Boys members of prowling city streets looking to fight.

On Monday, Metropolitan AME Church on M Street NW, one of the churches targeted, sued the Proud Boys. And on Tuesday, D.C. police placed a cruiser outside Asbury United Methodist and blocked the street in front of it with a bulldozer.

The 10-page arrest warrant details the police investigation into the burning of the banner at 11th and E streets. Police watched at least four videos posted on social media sites, including YouTube and Parler, a messaging platform similar to Twitter and favored by the extreme right.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office enhanced some of the videos to obtain a clearer look.

The longest video runs more than six minutes, according to the warrant. Police said it shows a group of people, “apparently affiliated with the Proud Boys,” walking in front of Asbury United Methodist Church. Tarrio does not appear in that part of the video.

Police said people in the group apparently took two banners, including one with the words “women” and “gay,” which they quickly discarded. They are seen in the video holding the large Black Lives Matter banner with Asbury’s logo and Internet address.

Someone is heard yelling, “Burn that s—,” and another says, “Where’s that lighter fluid,” according to the warrant.

They apparently had trouble getting the banner to catch fire, the warrant says. Someone is heard saying, “It won’t take. It won’t take,” as another warns a person with a camera not to show faces.

A crowd chants, “Light it up,” as one man gives a speech.

The warrant says Tarrio “appears to be crouched down at the bottom right corner of the banner holding a white paper cup in his left hand.” It is then, the warrant says, that “an open flame is momentarily seen beneath Tarrio’s cup, but the source of the flame is unclear.” Police said it is obscured by a photographer’s watermark and the camera angle.

Police said other videos show Tarrio holding what appears to be an unlit lighter in his right hand. At one point, the warrant says, he moves the cup — further described as a “green handled cylinder with a white top” — from his left hand to his right hand. But by then, police said, the banner “appears already to be engulfed in flames.”

The videos show two other men next to Tarrio holding lit lighters. In an interview with The Washington Post last month in which he said he was responsible for setting fire to the banner, Tarrio declined to comment on the other men.[D.C. police arrest Proud Boys leader ahead of demonstrations]

Police said they sent Tarrio a text message on Dec. 22 — after he had told The Post that he was making his admission against the advice of his attorney and after he had posted a similar statement on social media — requesting to talk with his legal representative.

In the warrant, police said Tarrio responded, “At this point I haven’t retained my attorney in this situation yet. But I won’t need my attorney to inform you that I will be using my 5th.” That is an apparent reference to his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Police said Tarrio attached a photo to his response showing him next to the banner holding what he had previously told The Post was an unlit lighter.

Police then quoted a post on Tarrio’s Parler account that says: “FBI: NOOOO you can’t burn a Black Lives Matter banner! That a hate crime?” The post then reads, “I’ll do it again. Pass me the lighter.”

Police said in the warrant that “defendant Tarrio’s confession to destroying the banner has also been reported by various news outlets.”

In his interview with The Post, which is excerpted in the arrest warrant, Tarrio said he would plead guilty to a charge of destruction of property but not to a hate crime.

He said that the burning of the banner was not motivated by race, religion or political ideology and that neither he nor his followers knew Asbury was a historic Black church.

The destruction of property count is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A hate-crime enhancement could made those penalties more severe. The charge regarding the ammunition magazine carries a maximum three years in prison.

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Democrat Efforts to Overturn Certified Iowa Election Backfire

Democrats’ partisan efforts to overturn Iowa’s certified Second Congressional District election have backfired after numerous Democrats have come out against the plan, in addition to losing public support.

Democrat Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI) joins the lengthening list of Democrats opposed to the overturning of Iowa’s Second Congressional District election. Slotkin told the Skullduggery podcast, “I’m sorry, I cannot support overturning an election, especially given everything that’s gone on and what we’ve been hearing from the Republican side of the aisle.”

Slotkin also spoke to Yahoo News:

“I mean, that’s their whole schtick. They attempted to delegitimize the results of the election and not certify those elections … They tried to use violence to stop us from certifying an election,” Slotkin told Yahoo News. “I can’t turn around and vote to decertify something that’s been stamped and approved in Iowa.”

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-NM), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), and Rep. David Price (D-NC) have already come out against overturning Iowa’s certified election.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has compiled a list of vulnerable Democrats who have not publicly stated their position on the matter.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday to express his thoughts on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) efforts to overturn the election results.

Grassley said Mariannette Miller-Meeks is now representative of Iowa’s Second Congressional District. “Her opponent chose to forgo her right under Iowa law to present any claims of election irregularities to an independent panel of judges. That’s because, under Iowa law, she has no legal claim,” Grassley said.

“Representative Miller-Meeks won fair and square, as certified by Iowa’s bipartisan Election Board. The House Administration Committee is moving forward with a process to overturn this certified election,” stating it will “exercise its discretion to depart from Iowa law.”

Grassley and Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst released a joined statement in December about Iowa Democrat Rita Hart’s efforts:

Both the original vote count and recount confirmed Mariannette Miller-Meeks won her election. There are legal avenues through which candidates can litigate election disputes if they believe there are specific election irregularities. Rita Hart declined to take legitimate legal action in Iowa courts and instead chose to appeal to Washington partisans who should have no say in who represents Iowans. That’s an insult to Iowa voters and our nonpartisan election process. We are confident in the fairness and accuracy of Iowa’s election system.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also rebuked Pelosi’s (D-CA) claims on the Senate floor for looking into “overturn a state-certified election” in the House.

McConnell reiterated Miller-Meeks won her race by six votes and was sworn into office in January with the House members’ newest class. “Two months ago, every Democrat, cable news channel, and every liberal news channel was melting down over some Republicans’ efforts to dispute state-certified election results here in congress. I opposed those efforts myself,” McConnell explained.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote on Tuesday against the efforts to overturn the election.

The editorial board communicated, the Democrats’ lawyer Marc Elias “says the House should ignore state law to steal a House seat.”

“Ms. Hart lost by six votes to GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. But rather than asserting that if state election law is strictly followed his client would win,” the editorial board wrote. Mr. Elias tells House Democrats that they may need to bend the law to reach their desired outcome.

The editorial board continued:

That sentence wasn’t a slip. Mr. Elias adds that “when voter intent can be determined but a ballot is not, for one reason or another, in strict conformity with state law,” it should be counted. He urges the Committee to “exercise its discretion to depart from Iowa law, and adopt counting rules that ‘disenfranchise the smallest possible number of voters.’”

Mr. Elias is right as a constitutional matter that each house of Congress has sweeping authority to “judge” its Members’ elections. But the explicit suggestion that state law be discarded gives the political game away.

“Equitable approach,” sure. Another way of putting it is that an Iowa court would have followed state law, while Mr. Elias hopes Democrats in Congress will ignore it to count the votes they want to count.

“This is a power grab, pure and simple, and Republicans should be shouting about it to everyone in Iowa and beyond,” the board said.

On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner editorial board also wrote against the efforts to overturn the election, outlining the opinions of the Democrats who are against the effort.

Pelosi is using the effort to be “blatantly partisan, dishonest, and anti-democratic that a few members of Pelosi’s own party caucus have come out against her.” They emphasized Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips’s statement: “just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

The editorial board continued:

To say this is hypocritical would be an understatement. Just a few months ago, Democrats rightly denounced former President Donald Trump for trying to overturn President Biden’s victory in several swing states. Pelosi’s actions at this point utterly lack legitimacy and are identical in essence to Trump’s when he encouraged Republican senators to overturn the Electoral College vote.

Pelosi’s goal is the same: to grab power after losing the election.

House Democrats have argued that Hart has every right to challenge the election’s results given how close it was. Funny — that’s exactly what Trump said.

The board finished by saying Pelosi’s power grab shows the Democrats’ willingness “to steal this seat unless enough Democrats have a conscience and decide, like Phillips, that just because they can steal it doesn’t mean they should.”

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Putin challenged Biden to a live debate after being called a ‘killer,’ and the White House just responded

Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged President Joe Biden after being called a “killer” and the White House responded on Thursday during a media briefing

Putin issued the challenge after Biden agreed to the description of the Russian leader during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.

“It takes one to know one,” Putin taunted on Thursday. “We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are.”

“I’ve just thought of this now. I want to invite President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it actually live. But with no delays, directly in an open, direct discussion,” Putin said in Moscow.

“It seems to me, it would be interesting both for Russian people and for the U.S. people, as well as for many other countries,” Putin added.

When asked about Putin’s request, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the president was very busy.

“I’ll have to get back to you if that is something we’re entertaining. I would say that the President already had a conversation already with President Putin, even as there are more world leaders that he has not yet engaged with,” Psaki said.

“And we engage with Russian leaders, members of the government, at all levels. But I don’t have anything to report to you in terms of a future meeting,” she added.

In the same interview with Stephanopoulos, Biden said that Putin would pay for trying to meddle in the U.S. election by influencing public opinion.

“The price he is going to pay, well, you’ll see shortly,” Biden threatened.

Here’s more of Putin’s response to Biden’s remarks:

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REPORT: Desperate Joe Biden secretly asks Mexico for help to stop historic border surge, just like Trump!

It’s now being reported exclusively by Reuters that Mexico has suddenly decided to help the Biden administration stem the flow of migrants to the southern border:


REUTERS – Mexico is preparing to significantly reinforce efforts to detain U.S.-bound migrants who illegally cross its border with Guatemala, in response to a jump in people trying to enter the United States, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The people familiar with the plan said Mexico would deploy security forces to cut the flow of migrants, the bulk of whom come from Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, whose economies were battered by the coronavirus pandemic and hurricanes last year.

Two of the people said the National Guard militarized police, which led efforts to bring down the number of illegal immigrants entering Mexico from Central America during an increase in 2019, would be at the fore of the containment drive.

“The operations will be more frequent, more continuous and we will be taking part,” from next week, a member of the National Guard said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mexico’s support is important for U.S. President Joe Biden’s efforts to manage the number of people arriving at the U.S. border, which hit a record for the month in February and is set to tick higher in March, apprehension numbers show. Most people apprehended at the U.S. border are sent back to Mexico.

Mexico also needs U.S help on managing the pandemic. It is lobbying hard for Biden to release some COVID-19 vaccine stocks to help with shortages, saying it expects an answer this week.

The people did not give details of the new migration plan, but similar operations in the past have focused on catching migrants on a narrow isthmus in the south of the country, rather then trying to stop all crossings on the Guatemalan border where remote and difficult terrain complicates efforts.

Migration authorities are already picking up migrants without proper paperwork around the southern city of Tapachula near the border, the National Guard member said.

Reuters notes that the Biden admin won’t say whether they requested the help or not:

When asked about the Mexican plan, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said the United States appreciated Mexico’s efforts to stem the flows and aimed to continue close cooperation.

The spokesperson declined to comment on specific operations and did not respond to a question on whether the White House had requested such action or knew about it in advance. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Reuters is reporting that an anonymous source says “bilateral discussions” to stop the flow of migrants are happening:

In Washington, a person familiar with the matter said the U.S. administration has seen a growing need for Mexico to do more to secure its southern border but has steered clear of making demands or direct requests for action.

Biden’s aides want to avoid Trump’s heavy-handed approach to Mexico, preferring a more respectful tone, but bilateral discussions have touched on how to curb the flow from the Northern Triangle, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Biden is a damned hypocrite and an epically incompetent leader. He puts an end to Trump’s border agreements with Mexico on his first day in office, only to turn around and beg for Mexico’s help after his policies caused a historic surge of migrants to the border. He’s literally reinstating a form of Trump’s agreement with Mexico, and he’s doing it in secret because he knows how bad this will look for him politically.

And if you have any doubts about this, the New York Times just published an article claiming the same thing that Reuters uncovered yesterday, that Biden is begging for Mexico’s help to stop the surge:

Just imagine how desperate Team Biden is to be following in Trump’s footsteps. But hey, there’s no crisis at the border. Don’t believe your lying eyes!

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