After Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4, he started a fundraiser on Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo to help raise money for a lawyer.
But Tarrio is not the only Proud Boy to turn to the Christian site to offset costs of fighting President Trump’s electoral loss on the streets.
According to The Washington Post, at least eight members of the right-wing group have raised money on GiveSendGo, and more than a dozen others connected to “Stop the Steal” events have set up accounts as well — for everything from travel expenses to body armor.
A review by The Washington Post shows that the self-described Christian website has become a refuge of sorts for outcasts and extremists, including fringe groups such as the Proud Boys as well as conspiracy theorists who seek to undercut the results of the presidential election by promoting debunked claims of fraud. Some of the users claim to have been booted from other crowdfunding websites for violating terms-of-service agreements.
Postings on GiveSendGo show that at least $247,000 has been raised for 24 people — including at least eight members of the Proud Boys — who claimed online that the money was intended for travel, medical or legal expenses connected to “Stop the Steal” events, including the Jan. 6 rally.
One post asked donors to “sponsor a warrior” and help “buy body armor and other protection pieces for our patriots.” It has raised only $5. Another featured a screenshot of President Trump’s tweet promoting the Jan. 6 event above a man’s plea for help after he claimed that a different crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, had removed his page. “I plan to meet you all there and fight alongside you,” he wrote on GiveSendGo, raising $958.
As for Tarrio: “Within a week, the ‘Enrique Tarrio Defense Fund’ had amassed more than $113,000 from 2,359 donors, according to the site.”
Image credit: Screengrab / CNN / YouTube