The Justice Department has called on a federal judge to revoke the pretrial release of two members of the far-right Proud Boys charged with an attack on the US Capitol.
The move is most aggressive to date by federal prosecutors trying to keep Proud Boys and other militant group members behind a bar awaiting trial. Federal prosecutors, sometimes unsuccessful, claimed that members of such groups were too dangerous to maintain their freedom.
Of the approximately 400 people charged in the Capitol raid on January 6, the Justice Department claimed that approximately three dozen were members or leaders of Proud Boys or Orskiper, most of whom were released awaiting trial. There is.
Last week, three accused members of Oath Keepers were released by a judge who ignored the prosecutor’s objections because of the threat they posed to the community.Some of the released Proud Boys Ethan Nordian and Joseph Bigs, The prosecutor attempts to return to detention at a hearing on Thursday in front of Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the US District Court in Washington. Legal experts say prosecutors will have a hard time persuading Kelly to detain the man.
Nordean, 30, and Biggs, 37, were released from detention shortly after being arrested in January. Since then, the man has been charged with conspiracy, and prosecutors say federal agents have found a message in an encrypted chat group stating that the man is too dangerous to be locked up in the house. .. Both men pleaded not guilty to the accusation.
“to approve [Biggs] Continuing pretrial release, even under house arrest, helps plan and guide large numbers of men in violent attacks to take similar actions in the future to promote his goals. Will leave a man who can afford it. And there are all reasons to believe that he, like co-defendant, poses the same risk of danger to others. [to] The community he raised by January 6th ” The prosecutor wrote, Use a similar language In court documents Learn about the threats Nordean poses.
The Justice Department has played a role in right-wing groups such as Proud Boys and Orskipers in instigating a riot that tried to block the vote count of Congressional Election College, which proved Joe Biden’s victory. I paid a lot of attention.
In last week’s court document, Prosecutor insisted The leader of the vow keeper, described by federal authorities as a large, loosely organized rebel militia, coordinated his group’s January 6 activities with the Proud Boys and another far-right organization. Prosecutors allege that the group led the prosecution to defeat the Capitol, allowing large-scale Trump-supporting mobs to flock to the building. Five people were killed in the melee attack.
Proud Boys Hatred group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, And defamation prevention league Call a group Representing “the unconventional tensions of American right-wing radicalism,” “this group can be described as violent, nationalist, Islamophobia, transphobic, and misogynistic. Members represent different ethnic backgrounds, and their leaders violently protest all claims of racial discrimination. “
Known for its members’ violence, the group describes itself as “a pro-Western fraternity for men who refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world.”
Attorneys at Nordean and Biggs said men should remain free because they pose no threat. According to lawyers, they have no criminal history and have never violated the conditions of house arrest. The lawyer said the two judges had already determined that it was not dangerous enough to be imprisoned in jail.
“Nordian is in perfect compliance with the terms of his release and believes in the government’s claim of risk to the community,” Washington resident lawyer David B. Smith wrote in court documents. ..
Prosecutors may have trouble persuading judges to detain men because they are already free and have not violated judicial orders, legal experts said.
“Once someone is released, it will be difficult to change or revoke those conditions unless they commit new violations or violate the conditions of release,” he said. Peter Zeidenberg, Former federal prosecutor. “This shows that the Department of Justice is very positive about these cases.”
Federal prosecutors were charged on March 10 with Nordian, Bigs, and two Proud Boys encouraging group members to attend President Trump’s “stop theft” rally on January 6. .. Raids on buildings and tears on barricades.
Prosecutors quoted a social media post in which Nordean and Biggs questioned the election results and urged members to take action in an attempt to detain the man. Prosecutors also claimed that they disclosed a newly discovered message from an encrypted chat room, demonstrating that both men played a leading role in the plot.
On January 5, prosecutors posted that the Proud Boys in Washington “are trying to avoid being involved in any incident tonight.” Tomorrow is that day. “
Another conspirator, Charles Donoho, wrote that Nordian “believed” to lead the group, the indictment alleges. Prosecutors are calling for continued detention of Donoho, 33, from North Carolina. Donoho, who has been detained since his arrest on March 17, will be detained on April 6.
Nordean said, “I’m in charge, police are the main threat and don’t get caught by them. [Black Lives Matter protesters]According to the indictment, an unknown conspirator wrote that night.
After Trump’s rally, Nordians and Bigs led the other Proud Boys to the Capitol, where they broke barriers and raided police, prosecutors said.
“As the leader of the members of the Proud Boys who attacked the Capitol on January 6th. [Biggs] It poses a danger based not only on his own potential violence, but also on the violence of others who support him, “the prosecution wrote in their detention documents.
The defense lawyer alleged that the prosecutor selectively quoted from a 1,500-page chat message that could be read in a variety of ways. The prosecutor’s allegations are “based on some speculative and somewhat dramatic interpretations of certain” new evidence “of the instructions given by Bigs around January 6,” Bigs lawyer John John. Daniel Hull wrote.
Hull added that Bigs is not a threat either, as the lawyer has what he said was a good relationship with the FBI. In planning a Proud Boys protest and rally in Portland, Oregon in 2019 and last year, Hull wrote, Bigs spoke extensively with FBI agents and local police about his group’s activities.
“These discussions not only politely inform law enforcement agencies about Proud Boys’ activities in Portland, but also planned marches and demonstrations, which march routes and where to go on the streets of Portland. The purpose was also to seek advice on where to go, “Hull wrote.
The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the characteristics of Hull’s client-FBI relationship.
Despite the department’s efforts to focus on men’s alleged efforts to coordinate activities on January 6, former federal prosecutors said new evidence was sufficient to bring Bigs and Nordians back to prison. He said it was not as substantive.
“None of this was surprising to the judges, or to the judges who released them,” he said. Stephen Levin, Former federal prosecutor. “Of course they communicated. How did you know where else to go?”
This story was originally Los Angeles Times..