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.
Trump to claim he is ‘presumptive 2024 nominee,’ leader of GOP in CPAC speech: report
Former president Donald Trump will claim he is the leader of the Republican party and its “presumptive 2024 nominee” when he makes his first public appearance since leaving office during the Conservative Political Action Conference next weekend in Orlando, according to a report.
A longtime Trump adviser told Axios his CPAC speech will be a “show of force,” and said the message will be: “I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I’m still in charge.” The source reportedly added that “payback is his chief obsession.”
Trump’s advisers will reportedly meet with him at Mar-a-Lago this week to plan his next political moves, and to set up the framework for kingmaking in the 2022 midterm elections.
According to Axios, Trump is expected to go after the 10 House Republicans who voted to convict him in his impeachment trial, spurred by the Jan. 6 riot at the U. S. Capitol, and the seven GOP Senators who voted with Democrats to convict.
Trump was acquitted, with 57 senators voting for his conviction — short of the required two-thirds majority — and 43 voting against conviction.
He also reportedly plans to argue in the CPAC speech that many of his predictions about President Biden have already come true.
“Trump effectively is the Republican Party,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News. “The only chasm is between Beltway insiders and grassroots Republicans around the country. When you attack President Trump, you’re attacking the Republican grassroots.”
Trump has found support from state Republican officials who censured some members of Congress who voted against him. Meanwhile, his leadership PAC, Save America, has $75 million on hand to help set up primary challenges to sitting Republicans who went against him, as well as a database of tens of millions of names.
A Suffolk University/ USA Today poll found that 46% of Trump supporters would abandon the Republican Party and join a Trump party should he decide to create one, versus 27% who would stay with the GOP.
Half of the individuals polled said the Republican Party should become “more loyal to Trump,” even if it means losing support from establishment Republicans, versus 19% saying the party should become less loyal to Trump and more aligned with establishment Republicans.
The survey of 1,000 Trump voters, identified from 2020 polls, was taken by landline and cellphone last Monday through Friday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Donald Trump Just Changed His Washington Plans – In 2022, Instead Of Another Party, Trump Plans On Winning House And Senate
Many have asked what Donald Trump will do, now that he’s returned to private life.
(Most can be assured he’ll hardly stay “private” in his opinions and decisions.)
Some claimed he was floating the idea of starting his own “Patriot Party.” That seems to be what the MSM was saying. They probably hoped it was true, as it would split the GOP and give Democrats big wins.
But, as it turns out, Trump is defying their claims (as usual) and developing a plan to help turn Congress around. From Daily Wire:
President Donald Trump has reportedly dropped an idea to start a third political party, which was briefly floated last week, and is now focused on helping the Republican Party win back the House and the Senate in 2022…
“The President has made clear his goal is to win back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022,” Miller said. “There’s nothing that’s actively being planned regarding an effort outside of that, but it’s completely up to Republican Senators if this is something that becomes more serious.”
Now the liberal media is claiming Trump floated the idea of a third party to get Republican leaders “in line.”
(Oh, guys, nice cover. It seems like the claim of the “Patriot Party” was squashed after Trump’s own adviser set the record straight.)
Instead, Jason Miller is saying Trump will focus his efforts on helping the GOP win back the House and Senate in 2022.
That’s a very real and obtainable goal—and one that should make Democrats very nervous.
Impeachment or not, there is nothing they can do to stop Trump—a private citizen—from endorsing Republican candidates in the upcoming midterms.
Sure, they can kick him off of social media, but that will hardly stop him. Trump and his people will find new ways of reaching that 75,000,000 that backed him in 2020.
We might even see the return of his legendary rallies.
President Trump had an impeccable record of endorsements during his time in office. Most of the candidates he supported won their primaries and general elections.
And the people he opposed? Let’s just say they had to look for new jobs (look out Lisa Murkowski!).
Would you like to see Trump come back to campaign and support Republican candidates in 2022?
While Democrat Impeachment Races Towards Dead-End – Donald Trump Tuned Out, Instead He Stayed Busy Playing Golf
Defying all common sense and actual evidence, Democrats forged ahead with their impeachment trial.
This week, they wrapped up their case against the former president.
Meanwhile, Americans mostly tuned out—deciding to watch anything other than Democrats once again complain about Donald Trump.
And it turns out President Trump himself wasn’t bothering to watch. He was so worried about this impeachment, he golfed instead.
Former President Trump was seen playing golf Thursday during the third day of his second impeachment trial.
Trump was spotted by CNN photojournalists just before 3:30 p.m. ET at Trump National Golf Corse in West Palm Beach, Florida.
He left the golf course at 4:20 p.m ET in a black SUV.
Most legal experts agree that Democrats don’t have a case against Donald Trump. The only reason we have to talk about a second impeachment is because Democrats have a majority in the House.
Republicans in the Senate made it very clear they are not interested in convicting Trump of the left’s bogus charge of “incitement.”
Most of them voted to not even hold an impeachment hearing, believing it is unconstitutional to do so after a president has left office.
Donald Trump doesn’t seem all that worried about this final circus. He was seen golfing at his own golf course in West Palm Beach, Florida during the proceedings.
The left has tried to twist and turn all the details about this case to make it look like Trump is guilty of something. But all they are left doing is trying to condemn a man over his freedom of speech.
Many lawmakers have said you can’t even prove someone committed “incitement.” Sen. Graham said that if Democrats could impeach Trump over a speech, every Democrat would face a similar fate.
On top of that, it appears most Americans aren’t even watching.
But what they are watching is our leaders in D.C. waste time on a doomed impeachment, while they continue to suffer all over the country.
Democrats fiddle away with their attacks against Trump, while states are still locked down, Americans are out of jobs, and many are sick with the China virus.
When are they going to get to all that?
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