Two men associated with accused Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordin were among the first participants in the January 6 riots to breach police barricades outside the US Capitol, according to recently unsealed indictment documents.
James Haffner, 53, of South Dakota, and Ronald Lhorke, 30, of Georgia, were arrested this week and charged with civil unrest and a felony. Haffner was also charged with assaulting officers or obstructing them with an aerosol can.
The FBI affidavit claimed that Nordean had sent Lorke a text message prior to January 6 stating that he wanted Lorke to be “on the front lines” with him. Loerke replied, “Sounds good,” and made it clear that he would bring three more with him, the FBI said.
The FBI said it had partially identified Haffner through his wife’s August 7 social media post, which included a photo of the couple and a third person whose image had been edited, but his wife’s signature indicated that it was Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell, who was in South Dakota on that week for a bus and motorcycle tour of the state, coinciding with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Lhorke and Haffner allegedly went with a group of proud guys led by Nordian to the US Capitol. The couple joined the crowd as they cleared the pedestrian barrier shortly after 1 p.m., broke through the building’s West Square and stood in front of the crowd against the only row of riot police before dismantling police barricades on the east side, according to the FBI.
“Don’t back down, patriots! … The whole … world is watching. Stand up! ”Lörke scolded the crowd, which he said was once“ stopped by only 25 officers, ”the indictment documents say.
The FBI reported that Haffner sprayed the police guarding Columbus’s doors shortly before they were broken through by the crowd pouring into the Capitol rotunda. The FBI included images of Lurk wearing a plaid jacket, maroon hoodie and baseball cap with a red Cummins Oil logo, investigators say, and Haffner wearing a dark hoodie, red cap and long beard. Both men depicted wore dark glasses.
The FBI said it identified Loerke, in part, from video filmed January 6 outside a downtown hotel showing a man wearing matching clothes and a similar tattoo on his right arm with the word “stay” on his knuckles and a rose outline. The FBI said Haffner was traced to airline, hotel and payment records, his South Dakota driver’s license, and a photograph of Haffner standing next to two women, whose heads were covered by a black rectangular window.
“Sydney FRICKIN Powell !! What an amazing experience meeting her and her team! #SidneyPowell #releasethekraken #TrumpTrain #sturgisally, ”commented Haffner’s wife next to a photo of three people standing in front of a bus in the style of the Women for Trump campaign and photos of President Donald Trump, conservative commentator Candice Owens. and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to the indictment papers. The bus appears to be the same one that Powell was photographed with during her trip to South Dakota, and the man whom Haffner’s wife named Powell wears a black bicycle vest and bracelet similar to those in which the latter was photographed the next day, though and with a shirt and trousers of a different color.
Haffner was arrested in Pennington County in South Dakota and appeared in federal court on Wednesday. Lhorke was arrested in Cumming, Georgia on Thursday and showed up for the first time on Friday when the case was solved. The court-appointed lawyers who originally represented the men did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.