Judge agrees to release prominent Proud Boys leader facing Capitol riot charges
Posted February 8, 2021 1:30 p.m. EST
CNN — A federal judge in Seattle on Monday decided that a Proud Boys leader on the West Coast, Ethan Nordean, should be released pending trial, even after federal prosecutors warned he could coordinate with the Proud Boys for another attack on the federal government.
Nordean has been charged with four counts relating to his actions outside and in the US Capitol building on January 6. Prosecutors have alleged he had prepared for the Capitol riot by gearing up and collecting money days before, suggesting he could face more charges in the future as investigators look more closely at the Proud Boys organization and coordination.
"While you are out, you must maintain good conduct," Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida said on Monday.
The Justice Department indicated in court it will seek an appeal to challenge Nordean's release. DOJ has appealed several of these rulings from around the country where low-level criminal proceeding judges have said defendants could be released, effectively keeping them in jail.
Tsuchida's decision on Monday included putting Nordean on a nightly curfew, restricting his travel to Washington state and Washington, DC, for court appearances, and barring his communication with other witnesses in the case -- which will likely include several Proud Boys prosecutors say he communicated with on January 6. Tsuchida has not placed him on more restrictive release terms, such as home detention or GPS monitoring, or even set a monetary bail amount.
Nordean has been held since his arrest last week and has not yet been released.
He currently faces charges of aiding and abetting injury to government property, obstructing an official proceeding, entering the restricted grounds of the Capitol and disorderly conduct.
This story is breaking and will be updated.