A federal judge has revoked bail for two leaders of the Proud Boys, a rightwing militia which has often squared off with Antifa and other left-wing groups.
The judge contended that newly revealed evidence in their role in the January 6th capital riots showed them to be too dangerous to remain free while awaiting trial. The two leaders, Ethan Nordean from Washington state and Joseph Biggs from Florida, are charged with conspiring to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. They are also charged with organizing and leading dozens of other Proud Boys members into the capital. Many of the first individuals to breach the capital were members of the militia group. “The defendants stand charged with seeking to steal one of the crown jewels of our country, in a sense, by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power. It’s no exaggeration to say the rule of law and … in the end, the existence of our constitutional republic is threatened by it,” said Judge Timothy Kelly.
In earlier decisions made by federal judges, the two Proud Boys leaders were set to be released under strict conditions. In the first bid to keep Nordean detained, Judge Beryl Howell described weakness in the case that was presented and that prosecutors declined to show evidence to support their most damaging claims. Judge Kelly stated that new evidence presented by the prosecutors showing Nordean and Biggs’ men’s central role in orchestrating the incident was a decisive factor in his ruling. The prosecution recited the social media posts of the two individuals that vowed violence against lawmakers and others preparing to certify the results of the election.
Prosecutors also revealed the private communications of the two men. Prosecutors stated that Nordean took on a larger leadership role on January 4th following the arrest of the Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio. Tarrio was arrested upon arrival in DC for charges of violence from a previous pro-Trump protest. Prosecutors said that Tarrio helped plan the strategy for the January 6th riot, encouraging the Proud Boys to split into smaller groups to overwhelm the capital police. Biggs was an on the ground leader leading up to the breach of the capital. Nordean and Biggs were amongst the first individuals to arrive at the capital as capital police opened the barrier in front of the building. Prosecutors also look to put Nordean and Biggs on the hook for significant damage to the capital although Judge Kelly stated there was no evidence of the two ordering specific criminal acts such as smashing windows.
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ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TIMES MAGAZINE