A Proud Boys leader charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection expressed shock that former President Donald Trump abandoned him and other rioters.
“Alright I’m gonna say it. FUCK TRUMP,” self-described Proud Boys sergeant-at-arms Ethan Nordean said in a Telegram message on Jan. 20. “Fuck him more than Biden. I’ve followed this guy for 4 years and given everything and lost it all.”
Nordean, 30, from Washington state, wrote the grievance after Proud Boys Florida organizer Joseph Biggs, 37, was arrested for his role in the day’s violence, which left five people dead and 140 police officers injured.
“Yes he woke us up, but he led us to believe some great justice was upon us ... and it never happened,” Nordean wrote of Trump in the Telegram message, revealed by federal prosecutors this week. “Now I’ve got some of my good friends and myself facing jail time cuz we followed this guys lead and never questioned it.”
Nordean, who was arrested a week after posting the Telegram message, seemed to realize Trump would not be issuing pardons for him and fellow members of his violent gang.
“We are now and always have been on our own,” Nordean wrote. “So glad he was able to pardon a bunch of degenerates as his last move and shit on us on the way out.”
Nordean, who has been jailed since early February, is charged with attempting to obstruct Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s also charged with aiding and abetting, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He has pleaded not guilty.
Even as Republican lawmakers attempt to rewrite history, falsely claiming this week that the insurrectionists are the true Jan. 6 victims, Nordean’s own lawyer has put the blame on Trump for inciting the riot.
“Thousands of people descended on Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to protest the result of the 2020 presidential election,” public defender Corey Endothe wrote in a February court filing. “Egged on by Donald Trump, other politicians, his legal advocates, and the news media these people believed the election had been stolen. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people entered the Capitol building as Mr. Nordean is alleged to have done.”
The new Telegram messages uncovered by prosecutors also show how the Proud Boys coordinated their plans for the day’s violence.
“Drag them out by the fucking hair if they steal it,” one member wrote in the chats.
“Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us,” Nordean posted just days before the attack. “Fight we will.”
In April, bail was revoked for both Nordean and Biggs after federal prosecutors successfully argued the two men were central figures in planning the attack.
Trump, upon leaving office, relocated to his Florida country club.
“Fuck you Trump you left us on [t]he battlefield bloody and alone,” Nordean wrote on Trump’s last day in the White House.