Nordean’s release, however, may not come to pass. Prosecutors say they intend to appeal the ruling and seek a stay of Tsuchida’s order. Tsuchida agreed to stay the effect of his decision once they file their appeal.
The FBI charged Nordean for entering the Capitol through a broken window, along with other members of the Proud Boys, who they’ve increasingly described as mounting a coordinated assault on the building.
Nordean’s attorney Corey Endo said the passport discovered by investigators can not be plausibly seen as evidence of his intent to flee the country. Rather, she said, the image doesn’t look anything like him, and Nordean voluntarily submitted to arrest after his wife informed him that investigators had come to their house. The evidence connecting Nordean to the broken Capitol window — despite images of him climbing through it — is thin, his lawyer argued, and he has no other criminal history.
Prosecutors urged the magistrate judge to detain Nordean, describing the destruction of property charge as part of a group of federal “terrorism”-related crimes, and calling the evidence “overwhelming.” They also noted his social media commentary fomenting “rebellion” and encouraging violent revolt.
Washington, D.C.’s top federal district court judge, Beryl Howell, has repeatedly moved to stay similar release orders issued against alleged Capitol insurrectionists across the country, though she recently agreed to the release of a New Mexico local official who was present at the Capitol.