Proud Boys-Linked Conspiracy Theorist Says 'Deep State' Behind Upcoming D.C. Violence

A conspiracy theorist with ties to the Proud Boys has claimed that the group's leader is "taking the fall" for others following his arrest for allegedly setting fire to a Black Lives Matter flag while claiming any violence which breaks out in pro-Donald Trump Washington rallies this week will be the work of the "deep state."

Matt Couch, head of America First Media Group and one of the main advocates of the false claim that Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich was murdered for leaking DNC to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign, uploaded a video onto social media providing an update on Enrique Tarrio's arrest while claiming it "not near as bad as it seems."

Tarrio, chairman of the far-right group, was arrested on January 4 while entering the District of Columbia by the Metropolitan Police Department and charged with destruction of property.

In a statement, police said Tarrio was also allegedly found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines. He was charged with possession of high capacity feeding device.

Couch said that Tarrio is facing misdemeanor charges and is going to "make bail easily" following his arrest. He also suggested that Tarrio will be present at the upcoming pro-Trump protests in Washington on January 6 to coincide with the Congressional certification of the president's election defeat to Joe Biden.

Couch also repeated previous reports that the Proud Boys will be dressed in black similar to far-left protesters antifa at the rallies.

"What Enrique was arrested for was he took a fall for other patriots. He didn't do anything, but he's the guy taking the fall," Couch said.

"Enrique is going to be fine...and the Proud Boys boys are going to be here, they're going to be protecting patriots. They will be kind of infiltrating antifa groups and dressing like them to protect us."

Predicting there will be violence at the upcoming rallies protests in Washington, Couch also suggested that any fighting or destruction will be the work of Washington Mayor Murial Bowser and the "deep state"—a conspiracy theory claiming there is a secret layer in government of unofficial individuals and advisers that influence key decisions and policies.

"Mayor Murial Bowser and the deep state are behind anything that happens during this peaceful protest. Make no mistake about it.

"If there's any violence that breaks out I can assure you that it was not started by patriots, it was not started by Proud Boys, it was not started by Trump supporters. It will be started by antifa members and patriots defending themselves."

Tarrio previously claimed responsibility for setting alight the BLM banner which had been torn from the Asbury United Methodist Church on December 12. The incident occurred during a night of violence following protests supporting Trump's widely dismissed claims of voter fraud in the election.

In December, police issued images of the men they wanted to speak to in connection with the flag burning, which did not appear to include Tarrio. However, Tarrio posted a picture on social media of himself with two other men using lighters to ignite the sign and continued to boast about being "proud" of the act.

Prior to Tarrio's arrest, officials in Washington warned Trump supporters and far-right nationalists groups not to bring firearms into the Capitol this week or to openly carry arms at the protests.

Hundreds of National Guard troops are also expected to be brought in to patrol the city as officials fear violence between opposing groups will erupt.

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Members of the Proud Boys join supporters of US President Donald Trump as they demonstrate in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2020. A conspiracy theorist has suggested any violence which breaks out in the upcoming Washington rallies will be the work of the "deep state." JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP/Getty