National Security

New audio shows Proud Boys leader talking about members not turning on one another

The chairman of the Proud Boys tells members of the group in a private audio message that they should avoid turning on one another, according to audio of the conversation obtained by Reuters.

In the July audio, Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the group, discusses four Proud Boys leaders who have been jailed over their actions related to the Jan. 6 mob attack by supporters of President Trump on the Capitol.

He said it was not true that a member of the group being prosecuted had cooperated with authorities, saying he spoke to the member’s wife to be sure.

Tarrio then said that he wanted to avoid a situation in which people started turning on one another, according to Reuters. He said that he needed the four members currently in jail at their highest morale.

“If this hits the media, it’s automatically going to f—ing be assumed that this is true. The bigger problem with that is the guys that are in prison right now are holding on to hope that everybody’s f—ing staying put because they didn’t do anything wrong,” he told the members, according to the audio posted by Reuters and reviewed by The Hill. 

“The moment that they think that one of the guys flipped, it throws everything off, and it makes everybody turn on each other,” Tarrio told members, according to the audio.

“And that’s what we’re trying to f—ing avoid. Until I don’t see, like, hard evidence of one of these guys  f—ing  flipping on the others, like dudes, we got to support these guys 100 and  f—ing 50 percent. We can’t let like little  f—ing rumors and little birdies, get involved with like their … morale, we need them at their highest  f—ing morale to go through this,” he continued.  

Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Charles Donohoe and Zach Rehl — four top Proud Boy members — are in jail in connection to their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 attack, in which people stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win, according to Reuters.

Tarrio mentioned Rehl in the audio, saying that “if there’s anybody that’ll hold fast, it’s  f—ing Zack.”

A reporter for The New York Times tweeted in late July, “The lawyer for Philly Proud Boy president Zach Rehl filed a not-so-terribly-unusual but nonetheless interesting letter last night asking to delay Rehl’s status conference tomorrow.”

“Question is: What are the ‘developments’ that require ‘ongoing conversations’ with the government?” the reporter added.

Reuters noted that Tarrio misinterpreted the tweet to mean that Rehl had been cooperating with authorities in an investigation. 

A lawyer for Rehl told Reuters that his client was not cooperating with authorities. He said he was initially unaware of a conversation between Tarrio and Rehl’s wife or the audio message sent to the group. He followed up with the news outlet later to confirm that a call had happened, but he refrained on speaking on the wife’s behalf since he does not represent her.

The Hill has reached out to Rehl’s lawyer for comment.

Tarrio told Reuters when asked about the audio, “What I was trying to avoid is them turning against each other because of media stories.” 

Reuters spoke to three former prosecutors who said the Tarrio’s call to Rehl’s wife in addition to the private audio message could raise questions regarding possible obstruction of justice, though they explained that the audio itself could not lead to a charge but could be considered a starting point for a possible investigation. 

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Enrique Tarrio Jan. 6 attack Joe Biden Proud Boys

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