Father and son police officers have been charged with joining members of the militia group Proud Boys during the Capitol riot, according to an indictment unsealed on Friday.
Kevin Tuck, 51, and Nathaniel Tuck, 29, former and current police officers from Florida, were charged with several offenses, including impeding official proceedings and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
The Tucks were charged along with Edward George Jr., who was also charged with assaulting a police officer and stealing government property.
All three men were added to an indictment of previously charged Orlando area men Arthur Jackman and Paul Rae.
Jackman and Rae, who were arrested in March, were named as members of the Proud Boys militia group in their criminal complaints.
It’s not immediately clear what the relationship is between The Tucks and George and Jackman and Rae.
The Washington Post said that the charges against the Tucks bring the number of off-duty law enforcement officers charged in the Capitol mob to at least 20.
On Thursday, Kevin Tuck resigned from the police department in Windermere, Florida.
Windermere Police Chief David Ogden said in a statement that he was “disheartened” by the arrest.
“The Windermere Police Department (WPD) has worked tirelessly over the past eight years to build a reputation of serving with Honor, Integrity and Service to our residents, and this arrest doesn’t reflect on the hard work of the men and women of the Windermere Police Department,” he said.
Nathaniel Tuck served as a policeman in Apopka, Florida, until September 2020.
According to The Washington Post, Kevin and Nathaniel Tuck were released on a $25,000 unsecured bond on Thursday by a judge in Tampa.
Far-right white nationalist Nick Fuentes was removed from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas on Saturday.
Although organizers removed Fuentes from the event, a range of far-right figures have been seen attending the conference, including members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
CPAC is an annual gathering of top US conservatives, with former president Donald Trump due to speak on Sunday.
In the video, Fuentes announced his plan to host a rival press conference, which he promised would be his “most unchained speech ever.”
“I’m off Twitter. I have nothing to lose. This is going to be the most racist, most sexist, the most anti-Semitic, the most Holocaust-denying speech in all of Dallas this weekend,” Fuentes said, to enthusiastic cheers from his supporters.
The video shows Fuentes and his supporters walking into CPAC while chanting “America first” and “white boy summer.” Fuentes briefly gained access before being kicked out.
Although the 22-year-old agitator was barred from the event, members from other far-right groups were seen in attendance over the course of the weekend, including Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, and at least two members of the Proud Boys.
The Daily Beast reported that some CPAC attendees were openly boasting about participating in the Capitol insurrection.
“I’m here to instigate freedom like I did on the lawn on January 6 when I climbed the media tower while they shot tear gas at my feet,” Duane Schwingel, an activist who dresses up as a patriotic character called Uncle Jam, said, according to The Daily Beast.
QAnon merchandise was also seen on sale at the event.
Proud Boys members squabbled in private conversations after the Capitol riot, according to newly-released audio transcripts in a group leader’s court case.
Ethan Nordean, a 30-year-old described as the “Sergeant of Arms” of the Proud Boys’ Seattle chapter, was arrested in February and charged with obstructing or impeding an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, and knowingly entering a restricted building, according to the Associated Press.
The most serious charge against Nordean, who also goes by the alias “Rufio Panman,” carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
‘We are f—ed’
Court documents released on Tuesday detailed audio files investigators had recovered from Nordean’s cell phone, that were exchanged on Telegram, an encrypted-messaging service that has become popular with far-right groups.
In the conversation, individuals who appeared to be fellow Proud Boys members expressed worry about the ongoing investigation and arrests of people involved in the Capitol riot, while others chastised the members who took part in the riot.
“We are f—ed … they are coming for us,” one person said in one of the audio files.
There was also a discussion speculating about how solid of a case federal prosecutors were building. One individual commented that “feds don’t charge until they have a lot of evidence,” and if they “have enough evidence they are not going to offer much of a plea” deal.
“They’re going to throw the f—ing book at us,” one individual said in one of the audio files.
There appeared to be a lot of intergroup conflict in the audio transcripts as well, with some individuals unhappy that members even went to Washington, DC, in the first place.
According to the transcript, one individual said that he was confused about what happened in Washington because he thought they had voted not to go.
One individual said the “Warboys” went to DC and it “completely f—ing crashed and burns on us … good job with the comms, good job with the security, good job with legal … I mean f—ing ‘Tifa looks like professionals compared to us,” in an apparent reference to the antifa movement.
Another audio file included a comment about Nordean getting “lost in the sauce” and that the Proud Boys’ top leader, Enrique Tarrio, should step down. Another individual said that members under indictment should leave leadership positions.
The Daily Beast reported in February that regional branches of the Proud Boys had been distancing themselves from central leadership since that revelation.
Tarrio was arrested before the Capitol riot for an unrelated charge of burning a Black Lives Matter flag at a Black church. Before the Capitol riot, Nordean was known for fighting left-wing demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Nordean said he no longer supported Trump
Nordean himself chimed into the conversation at points to defend his actions. He said he led others so they didn’t go astray, according to the transcript.
“I understand where we’re at in the frat. I understand that we’ve taken some risks that we shouldn’t have taken. We’ve done some things we shouldn’t have done. Ok but they’ve been done and we need to learn from ’em,” Nordean said, according to the transcript.
Nordean also said, according to the transcript, that he was no longer a Trump supporter and expressed regret for going to his rallies. He said he thought he was fighting for some secret plan that didn’t come to fruition, and didn’t disagree that things went bad.
Nordean is currently in jail awaiting trial. He was initially released on pretrial confinement, but US District Judge Timothy Kelly reversed that decision in April, saying he was dangerous and no conditions for his release would be adequate, according to the AP.
An accused member of the Proud Boys who was charged in the Capitol riots argued Tuesday that a lawyer’s offensive comments about his fellow defendants’ mental states will “directly impact” his right to a fair trial.
Christopher Kuehne, 47, is charged with conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, as well as impeding or interfering with law enforcement during the commission of a civil disorder during the January 6 insurrection. Kuehne has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Though Kuehne was set to be prosecuted alongside five co-defendants in a joint jury trial, his attorney, Marina Medvin, filed a motion Tuesday asking a judge to sever his case from the group and grant Kuehne a separate trial.
Melvin argued Kuehne’s case should be separated because two of his co-defendants are represented by the lawyer Albert Watkins, whose comments to Talking Points Memo went viral earlier Tuesday.
“A lot of these defendants – and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully – but they’re all f—ing short-bus people,” Watkins told the publication. “These are people with brain damage, they’re f—ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”
He continued: “But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers – they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. F—, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f—ing Hitler.”
Watkins didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Watkins is best known for representing Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman pictured at the Capitol clad in a headdress with horns and face paint. Watkins also represents Felicia and Cory Konold, who are accused alongside Kuehne of forcing their way into the Capitol and ensuring the building’s underground tunnels remained open for other rioters to pass through.
Kuehne’s lawyer argued that Watkins’ comments were “highly inflammatory and derogatory.” Trying Kuehne alongside the Konolds would be “inherently unfair,” she wrote in the filing.
She argued the comments could essentially offer a preview into Watkins’ defense strategy for the Konolds: convincing the jury they are not mentally competent.
“Unlike his codefendants, Mr. Kuehne’s defense strategy does not include self-degradation, nor an insanity plea,” Medvin wrote in her filing.
She continued: “The statements of co-defendants’ counsel are as shockingly inculpatory as they are irredeemably insulting. Unlike his co-defendants, Mr. Kuehne is not willing to throw in the towel, nor to throw an entire political party under the bus through cheap ‘Nazi’ comparisons.”
Explosives, flamethrowers, and incendiary devices are some of the weapons discovered by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies outside rallies and at protests during 2020 and 2021, court documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The documents, provided to the Guardian by the transparency group Property of the People, offer descriptions of an array of makeshift weapons that had been confiscated or found at major political events.
The documents focused, primarily, on the threat of the far-right, the Guardian reported.
One such weapon was an improvised flamethrower that is said to have been taken from protesters in Erie, Pennsylvania last June, the Guardian said. The documents said that the homemade device appears to be modeled on a viral post of instructions on how to build a nearly exact copy of the “Not-A-Flamethrower” sold by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.
Another makeshift flamethrower – a propane-power weed burner – was also confiscated from protesters in Portland, Oregon, according to the Guardian.
An improvised explosive device (IED) that appeared to be “modified with nails” and made from scratch was discovered in Atlanta in June of last year, the documents said.
In early June, Black Lives Matter protests took place for 11 consecutive days in the city. Georgia was in a state of emergency and the National Guard had been activated to deal with looting and unrest until June 9, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Some of the IEDS, the documents explained, may have been used by businesses attempting to deter looters.
According to the documents seen by the Guardian, a “suspected metal pipe bomb with mechanical timer” was found outside the Republican National Committee building in Washington DC. It was discovered on January 5 – the night before the deadly insurrection. A similar device was found outside the Democratic National Committee building on the same night, the Guardian reported.
It is suspected that the same person, who is yet to be identified, planted both bombs, according to the FBI.
Molotov cocktails, powerful fireworks, and a plastic bottle with an “ignitable liquid” were also found in cities across the US, the documents said.
Concluding remarks referenced the “enduring threat” posed “by far-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacist world views” and explicitly call out Proud Boys and QAnon, the paper said.
The money was sent as part of a crowdfunding effort to help the Proud Boys pay for medical expenses after four people were stabbed in Washington DC in December 2020 during a confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters (officials did not comment on which group the injured individuals belonged to at the time).
The fundraiser was set up on the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo on December 17, five days after the incident.
The crowdfunding effort raised a total of $106,107 – 80% of which came from American Asians and the broader Chinese diaspora, according to USA Today, which obtained data from the whistleblower site Distributed Denial of Secrets.
The investigation tracked some donations to addresses in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Several donors who spoke to USA Today said they had sent money to the Proud Boys because they supported Former President Donald Trump, and felt that America was under attack from communism, a claim often touted by right-wing commentators, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The donors also told the paper they felt the Proud Boys were protecting the country from antifa and the Black Lives Matter protesters.
“You have to understand how we feel – we came from communist China and we managed to come here and we appreciate it here so much,” said Rebecca Kwan, who donated $500, USA Today reported. “The Proud Boys are for Trump, and they are fighting antifa, and can you see anything good that antics did except destroy department stores and small businesses?”
Another donor, Donald Wang from New York, who donated $50 to the organization, told USA Today: “The Proud Boys are protecting the innocent people. A lot of people in my community support them.”
The chairman of the far-right organization, Enrique Tarrio, said in a statement to USA Today: “I am happy that Asians support the Proud Boys because of the continuous hate and the relentless assault they get from BLM supporters. So to the Asian community, I’d like to say Thank You.”
The FBI described the Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” The agency’s director, Christopher Wray, said in a testimony before Congress last year he wished the FBI had been better able to penetrate the group ahead of the riot.
According to an NBC News poll from November, 63 percent of Asian Americans across the country voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
However, 31 percent still voted for Trump despite the fact the former president frequently used xenophobic and discriminatory language while referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the terms “kung flu” and “China virus.”
In the last few months, anti-Asian sentiment across the country has also contributed to a rise in xenophobic hate crimes.
Two accused Capitol rioters and Proud Boys leaders are headed back to jail to await trial on charges related to the Capitol attack, after prosecutors introduced new evidence that ended the men’s short bout of freedom.
Ethan Nordean of Washington and Joseph Biggs of Florida are accused of conspiring to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory on January 6. The two are also accused of coordinating and leading members of the far-right paramilitary group, the Proud Boys, in an organized attack on the US Capitol as some of the first rioters to breach the building, according to prosecutors.
Nordean and Biggs were both arrested and jailed following the siege, but were granted pretrial release under strict conditions earlier this year.
Federal Judge Beryl Howell noted weaknesses in the government’s case during the prosecution’s first bid to detain the men, according to Politico, but prosecutors at the time declined to present supporting evidence for the most incriminating allegations, in part because a more serious set of charges against the Proud Boys were in the works, the outlet reported.
On Monday, Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, ordered Nordean and Biggs to be arrested and jailed again while they await their pending trials, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors introduced new evidence including messages the defendants sent using Telegram the government says show Nordean and Biggs taking a central role in strategically planning the obstruction of Congress on January 6, when a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol in an attack that left five dead.
Court documents released in March accuse Nordean of taking “ultimate leadership of the Proud Boys’ activities” on January 6, after fellow members reportedly nominated him to have “war powers” following the arrest of the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, days before the siege. Prosecutors say Nordean helped plan the Proud Boys’ “tactical” and coordinated attack, that included members wearing dark colors and positioning themselves strategically across the Capitol campus to avoid detection.
Biggs, meanwhile, is accused of acting as an on-the-ground leader and a point of contact for dozens of Proud Boys in attendance, Politico reported. Biggs allegedly entered, exited, and then re-entered the building during the attack, making it as far as the Senate chamber, according to USA Today.
During his Monday ruling, Kelly said though the presented evidence does not suggest the defendants used physical violence or ordered criminal acts that day, the men’s encrypted communications and actions leading up to, during, and after the riot, show Nordean and Biggs participated in planning and celebrating the attack.
A California police department fired an officer from within its ranks because it was revealed he had been affiliated with the Proud Boys.
In a statement, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said officer Rick Fitzgerald was fired on Friday after an internal affairs investigation was launched last month when they became aware of online images and videos that showed Fitzgerald rallying with the Proud Boys at a November pro-Trump demonstration that turned violent.
“Such ideology, behavior, and affiliations have no place in law enforcement and will not be tolerated within the ranks of the Fresno Police Department,” Balderrama said in the statement. “Public trust and accountability are paramount in our ability to fairly police this community.”
Fitzgerald told Insider he joined the group because he agreed with their tenets.
“I looked at their tenets, and I said, okay, well, these guys are, you know, pro-First amendment, for the Second Amendment. You know, they don’t want drug wars. They want to uplift the entrepreneur, and they want to uplift the housewife. I didn’t see anything on there that was misogynistic. I didn’t see anything that was anti-race.” he said.
But Fitzgerald changed his tune after going to the November rally and left to form his own group, the Sons of ’76.
According to its website, Sons of ’76 is “a group of men who believe in uplifting and defending this brotherhood as well as our families, communities, and nation.”
The Fresno Bee reported that Fitzgerald was placed on administrative leave in March after an online video surfaced of him with the Proud Boys.
The FPD opened an internal investigation into Fitzgerald, who told Insider he was supposed to be interviewed on April 12 but was fired before speaking to anyone.
“I didn’t get to talk to anybody, nothing. So they sent me the packet as to their justification as to why they were going to fire me, and it was like, there was nothing there. I mean, you could argue like the protocol and stuff, but I mean in terms of, like, the stuff they were claiming, there was nothing to justify the immediate termination,” he told Insider.
“Like there was no reason why I shouldn’t have had at least due process, but they weren’t interested in getting a statement from me or anything like that. To this day, I have not given a statement to them because they’re just not interested,” Fitzgerald continued.
Insider was unable to corroborate Fitzgerald’s account of his firing. Messages to the Fresno Police Department were not returned. When contacted by CNN about Fitzgerald’s claims, the FPD said legal constraints prevented it from commenting further.
In a video preserved by the Fresno Bee from Fitzgerald’s now-deleted YouTube channel, he said: “I don’t care if it’s Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Patriot Prayer, Sons of ’76, get involved. We’re gonna be facing some dark times with Biden and Kamala-lalla up there doing God knows what.”
In a post titled “trench warfare” that was published in December on the Sons of ’76 website, Fitzgerald talks about ongoing “battles” between “Tifa” – a reference to the Antifa – and the Proud Boys, drawing similarities between them and the trench warfare used in World War II.
He signed his post using the name “Sheepdog.”
At one point, he writes: “I saw an article on YouTube by Tim Pool. It basically eluded to the Proud Boys this weekend beating the hell out of Tifa. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with anyone slapping these kids around and have dealt with them on my own terms,” before adding that he sees the fight between the two groups as an endless cycle with no winner.
He told Insider he wasn’t inciting violence with this post, but instead was expressing frustration he felt that Antifa was reportedly taking over cities like Portland, and he wanted “ordinary Americans” to be able to go about their day without “being harassed by a bunch of kids in black.”
Fitzgerald said he personally interacted with Antifa members when he played in a band and was doxxed after locals found out he was a cop. He said he had 300 messages from people who wanted to “kick my a–,” and no one wanted to listen to his side of the story. Insider has not been able to independently verify his story.
“I’m just like, wow. I mean, I’m a libertarian. I don’t care what you guys do. If you guys want to do whatever, I’m good with that. But they don’t care because once they find out something about you, they run with that narrative and then fill in the blanks, and then they just start attacking you,” he said.
The brotherhood of the Proud Boys is falling apart, as more than one of the Capitol riot defendants has turned on the group’s leadership.
According to a CNN report, prosecutors have struck deals with more than one Capitol riot defendant. In exchange for plea deals, cooperators may have to work with the Justice Department and prosecutors to build stronger cases and bring more serious charges against the pro-Trump far-right extremist group’s leaders.
Lawyers for Biggs said in a court filing that he regularly spoke to the FBI and law enforcement agents to tell them about protests that he was involved in, and that these back-channels he had with the authorities should keep him out of jail.
Enrique Tarrio, another well-known Proud Boys leader, was also revealed in February to have been working behind the scenes as an FBI informant. He was outed when Reuters published part of a 2014 court transcript, that said he was working undercover and was helping law enforcement crack drug and human trafficking cases.
Other groups who banded together to storm the Capitol in January are also seeing instances where defendants refuse to hold the line, and are now considering trading information to escape indictment.
Insider reported this week that prosecutors were negotiating a plea deal with Jon Schaffer – a heavy metal guitarist who was spotted storming the Capitol wearing an Oath Keepers hat, indicating his connection with the paramilitary group.
According to a now-deleted confidential court filing that was erroneously uploaded but seen by BuzzFeed News and Politico, Schaffer was involved in “debrief interviews” with prosecutors.
“Based on these debrief interviews, the parties are currently engaged in good-faith plea negotiations, including discussions about the possibility of entering into a cooperation plea agreement aimed at resolving the matter short of indictment,” the filing said.
Criminal defense attorney Martin Tankleff told CNN that he thought it likely that more cooperators would come forward and turn against the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other groups involved in the riot.
“Whenever you have a large group of people arrested and in jail, prosecutors will typically observe the group and pressure defendants to flip on one another, Tankleff said. “They’re going to start talking. They’re going to start sharing information.”
Two brothers from Oregon have been charged over the Capitol riots, court documents show.
One of the brothers was accused of using a Proud Boys slogan after entering the building during the violence of January 6.
Matthew Leland Klein and Jonathanpeter Allen Klein were charged with six offenses, including destruction of government property, obstruction of law enforcement, conspiracy, and entering a restricted building.
The indictment said that Jonathanpeter “is a self-identified member of the Proud Boys.”
It said that he “engaged in a celebratory exchange with an identified member of the Proud Boys” after entering the Capitol building and, a few minutes later, turned to that member and said “proud of your f—–g boy!”
The statement refers to the Disney song “Proud of Your Boy” from which the group takes its name.
Court documents submitted to the United States District Court District of Oregon Portland Division also said that he did “a Proud Boys hand signal.”
Prosecutors said that a photo of Jonathanpeter the day before the riot also showed him doing a Proud Boys hand signal. The details match this photo:
Experts say the group spreads white supremacist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic ideologies, though the group has denied doing so.
The indictment said its “members routinely attend rallies, protests, and other events, some of which have resulted in violence involving members of the group.”
The indictment does not connect Matthew to the Proud Boys.
But further prosecuting documents claim “there is also evidence that the defendants have participated in one or more Proud Boys events during which they were prepared to engage in and/or did engage in violent conduct.”
They said that photos appear to show both of the brothers at a protest featuring Trump supporters and Proud Boys members on September 7, where there were clashes with Black Lives Matter protesters.
And Matthew is also facing a charge of possession of loaded firearms related to a September 26 Proud Boys rally in Portland.
The riot took place as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol hours after Trump addressed them at the rally and encouraged attendees to “fight like hell.”
The crowd then stormed the building, forcing lawmakers to evacuate while voting to confirm President Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
The indictment said the brothers were part of the crowd outside the Capitol and “eventually forced their way through, up, and over additional Capitol Police barricades” to get to the exterior of the building, and that they were able to enter after other rioters forced their way in.
Still images from video footage shared with the court claim to show Matthew wearing goggles outside the Capitol, with a portion of Jonathanpeter also visible.
The indictment said that, when they exited the building, they then “worked in coordination to forcibly open a secured door on the Capitol’s north side.”
It said that, when law enforcement tried to stop them, Matthew put on protective goggles and moved towards the officers, where he then “used a Gadsden flag affixed to a flagpole to interfere with efforts by law enforcement to disperse the crowd.”
Hundreds of people have been arrested since the riot, with others also accused of being part of the Proud Boys.
Court documents say that members spent weeks planning their actions at the Capitol, including telling members to dress “incognito” and split up to avoid detection.