Proud Boys, Other Capitol Rioters Raised Travel Money on Christian Crowdfunding Site

The domestic terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 converged on Washington, D.C., from all over the country. Some flew in for Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. The majority drove. Either way they all spent money to make their way to the nation’s capital and many of them apparently used a Christian crowdfunding website to help finance their trips.

The Washington Post reported Monday that GiveSendGo.com has become the go-to fundraising vehicle for the Proud Boys and other extremist fringe groups after more mainstream crowdfunding websites banned them because their violent, hate-promoting views violated their terms of service.

Postings on GiveSendGo reviewed by the newspaper 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.

(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“Sponsor a warrior” and “help buy body armor and other protection pieces for our patriots,” read one post, although it raised only $5. A post from a woman in Texas asked for $500 in donations, listing her very specific planned rally expenditures: $15 for pepper spray, $100 for cab fares and $100 for a room at a D.C.-area hostel. Someone on the site donated his frequent flier miles to help defray the cost of her plane ticket.

Then there was this woman who wrote, “Funds are tight and I’m behind on bills. . . . For the last rally I drove straight through with no motel and no sleep. It was difficult. By giving, you would allow me to sleep on the 5th and 6th and keep my trip and driving safer.”

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Perhaps the most recognizable name on the site’s list of beggars is Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, Proud Boys national chairman. He’s been sent more than $113,000 from 2,359 donors to pay for lawyers to defend him against charges that in December he set fire to a historic Black church’s Black Lives Matter banner. Tarrio was arrested as soon as he entered the District on Jan. 4 in advance of the riot. When police apprehended him they discovered high-capacity firearms magazines in his backpack, resulting in the addition of felony weapons charges.

He said family members came up with the idea of using GiveSendGo.com, which advertises itself as “a place to fund hope,” to raise money for his defense while he was sitting in his D.C. jail cell. Once he receives the money, he told The Post, he’s going to start searching for a top lawyer. “Good lawyers don’t come cheap and I’m gonna go with the best one I can find,” said Tarrio.

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