Judge refuses to dismiss indictment against alleged Proud Boys leaders

 A federal judge refused to dismiss an indictment charging four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Tuesday rejected defense attorneys’ arguments that the four men — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Charles Donohoe — are charged with conduct that is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.

Kelly said the defendants had many nonviolent ways to express their opinions about the 2020 presidential election.

“Defendants are not, as they argue, charged with anything like burning flags, wearing black armbands, or participating in mere sit-ins or protests,” Kelly wrote in his 43-page ruling. “Moreover, even if the charged conduct had some expressive aspect, it lost whatever First Amendment protection it may have had.”

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