Judge to revoke bail for Proud Boy leaders involved in Capitol riot

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A federal judge is preparing to revoke bail for two top leaders of the Proud Boys, a paramilitary right-wing extremist group, who had been free while awaiting trial on charges stemming from their role in storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Ethan Nordean of Washington state and Joseph Biggs of Florida are charged with conspiring to stop the certification of the 2020 election — and with organizing and leading dozens of Proud Boys to the Capitol, many of whom were among the earliest to breach the building.

Judge Timothy Kelly’s imminent ruling, which he previewed at the outset of a Monday court hearing, reverses earlier decisions by federal judges to release Nordean and Biggs under strict conditions. Kelly said new evidence presented by prosecutors showing the two men’s central role in orchestrating the incursion was a decisive factor in his ruling.

Prosecutors say Nordean helped conceive of the Proud Boys’ strategy to divide into smaller groups and overwhelm outmatched Capitol Police. They’re also, according to prosecutors, on the hook for significant damage to the Capitol caused by fellow Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, who smashed a window with a riot shield early in the siege. Pezzola’s action, a central feature of many of the Capitol prosecutions, led to one of the earliest breaches of the Capitol.

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