WASHINGTON – Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean lashed out at President Donald Trump, accusing him of misleading his supporters and then deserting them despite their unwavering loyalty.
“We are now and always have been on our own. So glad he was able to pardon a bunch of degenerates as his last move and s— on us on the way out,” Nordean said in an expletive-laden message about the former president. “F— you trump you left us on [t]he battle field bloody and alone.”
Nordean is one of several members of the extremist group with ties to white supremacy whose members describe themselves as “Western Chauvinists.” He’s among the more than 400 people who have been charged for their alleged roles in the deadly assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Prosecutors say Nordean, along with other Proud Boys members, planned to push through police barricades and force themselves inside the building that day. Nordean, the self-described “sergeant-at-arms” of the Proud Boys’ Seattle chapter is facing several charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and aiding and abetting.
In a court filing Thursday, prosecutors detailed communications sent through the instant messaging app Telegram that they say show additional evidence that Nordean and other Proud Boys members conspired to breach the Capitol. Prosecutors included the anti-Trump diatribe in which Nordean seemed to acknowledged he and others are facing criminal charges because they followed Trump’s lead.
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“I’ve followed this guy for 4 years and given everything and lost it all. Yes he woke us up, but he led us to believe some great justice was upon us…and it never happened,” Nordean wrote on Jan. 20, after Proud Boys members were charged, “now I’ve got some of my good friends and myself facing jail time cuz we followed this guys lead and never questioned it.”
The filing was in response to a motion by Nordean’s attorney accusing prosecutors of failing to timely release evidence that contradict allegations of a conspiracy. Defense attorneys cited several messages sent after Jan. 6 in which Nordean said that storming the Capitol was not planned and that he no longer wants to be involved in politics.
Prosecutors dismissed the allegations, saying the trove of messages extracted from Nordean’s phone are “far from being exculpatory” and contain additional evidence of a crime.
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Trump was impeached by the House for a second time for his role in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol while Congress was counting state-certified Electoral College votes. The impeachment fractured the Republican Party, with 10 House GOP members voting to impeach and others acknowledging Trump’s role but arguing that impeachment would further divide the country.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who voted to acquit Trump, later condemned the former president, saying his “crescendo of conspiracy theories” caused the insurrection. Trump was acquitted by the Senate.
Testifying earlier this week before a Senate committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to say whether Trump’s claims of a stolen presidential election incited the insurrection. More broadly, Garland said false narratives and misinformation lead to acts of domestic extremism.