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Conspiracy theories, Capitol attack
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Seattle-area Proud Boy facing charges from Capitol siege released from prison pending trial

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Ethan Nordean, the self-described “sergeant-at-arms” and president for the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, will be released from prison pending his trial in federal court, facing charges for his role in the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

This ends a lengthy back-and-forth that saw a federal magistrate judge order Nordean’s pretrial release in early February, before a Washington, D.C., district judge blocked that release pending further review. Nordean was then scheduled to be transferred to D.C. to face the charges against him, a process that has since been delayed by weather and backlogs.

Instead, Nordean has been at a detention center in SeaTac, and will next be assigned to home detention while he awaits trial. As a condition of his release, he must remain within the area of King County and cannot have any firearms in his home.

He was arrested in early February after being charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., with obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting others who damaged federal property, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building. Obstructing an official proceeding, the most serious of the charges, carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors who argued against Nordean’s release claimed that the evidence against him in video footage and photos posted to his social media accounts during the Capitol siege was “overwhelming.”

Nordean isn’t the only Washington resident facing charges for the insurrection. In January, former Washington state National Guardsman Mark Leffingwell was among the first people indicted for their participation in the Jan. 6 riot.

Leffingwell allegedly struck Capitol police officer Daniel Amendola in the helmet and chest when Amendola tried to stop him from entering the building, according to the DOJ. In a criminal complaint, Amendola stated: “When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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