Authorities say that a Washington state leader of the right-wing group was nominated to have “war powers” and take charge of the attack on the Capitol, court papers state.
Prosecutors have asked a federal judge in Washington DC to keep Ethan Nordean, 30, behind bars pending trial.
They are appealing a lower court’s decision last month to issue a release order for Nordean, who is from Seattle.
Prosecutors say that Nordean was handed tactical command of the group following the arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Barrio in the city two days before the riot.
Assistant US Attorneys James Nelson and Jason McCullough say that Nordean led the group during the attack, using encrypted Baofeng radios, and positioned members at different locations to avoid police attention.
“By blending in and spreading out, Defendant and those following him on January 6 made it more likely that either a Proud Boy - or a suitably-inspired ‘normie’ [nonmilitant Trump supporter] - would be able to storm the Capitol and its ground in such a way that would interrupt Certification of the Electoral College vote,” the prosecutors stated.
They also included some of Nordean’s social media posts to show how he had prepared during the weeks before the riot.
“We tried playing nice and by the rules, now you will deal with the monster you created,” Nordean wrote on November 27, according to court filings.
“The spirit of 1776 has resurfaced and has created groups like the Proudboys and we will not be extinguished.
“We will grow like the flame that fuels us and spread like love that guides us. We are unstoppable, unrelenting and now....unforgiving.”
Nordean is among 16 Proud Boys currently facing charges related to the violence at the Capitol.
He is charged with depredation of government property, obstructing official proceeding, knowingly entering a restricted building, and violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.
Prosecutors say that Nordean’s communications with other group members before 6 January indicate he and the Proud Boys had organised a plan to overwhelm police and attack the Capitol.
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