Enrique Tarrio, a member of the far-right group Proud Boys, was allegedly in contact Donald Trump's White House aide Roger Stone in the days leading up to the MAGA riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, it has been claimed. Tarrio told the New York Timesthat he even had called Stone, who was formerly one of Trump's advisors, just days ahead of the riots.
The revelations come as FBI works to investigate the deadly events that unfolded in the January 6 riots that left five people dead. A law enforcement official said to be familiar with the details of the investigation told the outlet that the contacts were uncovered after officers tracked cell phone records and location data.
Another Twist to Capitol Riots
Tarrio told the NYT that he made the call while at a protest outside Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio's home. He also claimed that he put the phone on speaker so that Stone could speak to the crowd. It's not known if Stone was part of that conversation and if her really speak to the crowd.
Stone has so far denied his involvement in the Capitol Riots. Stone's name emerges just days after Federico Klein, a former State Department aide in Trump's administration, was charged with participating in the deadly siege at the Capitol and assaulting officers who were trying to guard the building, court papers show.
Last month, Stone told the outlet that he denied "any involvement or knowledge of the attack on the Capitol." Tarrio was arrested by police in Washington, DC just two days before the Capitol riots on January 4 on charges of destruction of property. Tarrio was allegedly involved in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that was torn down from a black church during a December protest in the capital.
Creating a New Angle
Stone so far didn't feature in the list of suspects behind the deadly Capitol Riots but the revelations made by Tarrio might now compel the FBI to reassess his links. The official, however, also told the NYT that investigators have thus far found no evidence of communications between the rioters and members of Congress.
Stone has time and again claimed that he quit from the Trump campaign in 2015, but Trump's maintains that he was fired. Tarrio's claims have now sounded an alarm bell to the investigators as it shows the extent to which associates of the Trump White House had ties with extremists like Proud Boys and other groups leading to the riots.
Investigators are now looking into contacts between Stone and other far-right extremists to ascertain if he played any role in the January 6 Capitol Riots. He has also been known to maintain ties with the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia that has provided security for Stone at his speeches and rallies.
So far, more than 300 people have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot.