A federal judge has ordered Capitol rioter Jeffrey Grace to surrender his weapons today in response to a government motion to modify the conditions of his release following his involvement in a clash with antifascists in Portland, Ore. over the previous weekend.
As noted in the motion, Grace traveled from his home in Battle Ground, Wash. to Portland on Aug. 7 to provide "perimeter security" for an event featuring Artur Pawlowski, a Canadian pastor whose arrest for resisting COVID restrictions has recently galvanize the far right across North America. The motion cited videos and photos posted on Twitter and Reddit that indicate "Grace was carrying a firearm and at times holding what appears to be a baton." The government also cited a video posted on Twitter that "appears to depict Grace and his group in Portland confronting another individual under a bridge." The motion alleges that Grace "can be seen shoving the other individual." Returning on Aug. 7 for a second day of clashes between the far-right and antifascists in Portland, the government said Grace "wore a helmet while carrying what appears to be a can of chemical irritant and a wood-colored baton.
The government said Grace also carried a firearm in El Paso, Texas around July 20-22.
"In both Portland and El Paso, Grace engaged in what appear to be pre-planned confrontations with individuals," Special Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky wrote in the motion. "In Portland, Grace described those as 'antifa' members and in El Paso, he described them as illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico. Given this troubling escalation, the government recommends that the court modify the defendant's conditions of release, and… order that he 'not possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon."
Grace said in a video posted on his YouTube channel on Friday that he intends to comply with the order, and has contacted the Battle Ground Police Department to arrange to turn over his weapons.
"It's not that big of a deal," he added. "I'm gonna get my weapons back."
US District Court Judge Randolph Moss wrote in his order, issued late Thursday, that "in light of the fact that the court has entered this order on an expedited basis, defendant may seek relief from this condition upon a showing that the condition is unnecessary to protect community safety."
Grace complained in his YouTube video that the order to surrender his weapons amounts to persecution because he's refused to take a plea deal for his misdemeanor charges in the Capitol breach.
"You're going to poke at me, you're going to pick at me," he said. "Is it because I'm not taking a plea? Is it because I'm not rolling over? Is it because I'm not submitting to the lousy left?"
He went on to say he fired off an email to his lawyer requesting that the prosecuting attorney be removed from my case because she is obviously biased, racist, unprofessional and left."
His rant suggests he doesn't understand what racism is.
"Racist against Americans — hello!" Grace said. "People who love the flag."
Grace lost his job as a long-haul trucker as a result of his federal charges, prompting an early retirement.
"I've got a new passion that I get to embrace," he told Todd Cotta, a far-right podcaster in California, in June, prior to his travels to Texas and Oregon, which all require notification of pre-trial services. It's not clear whether Grace has sought or has obtained permission for those trips.
But the government filings have documented a pattern of deception on Grace's part.
The motion filed earlier this week notes that during his initial interview with the FBI prior to being charged in the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, Grace "denied membership with other organizations, including the Proud Boys." The motion goes on to say that the investigation "revealed that the defendant was an active member of the Proud Boys and that he walked among a large gathering of other Proud Boys towards the US Capitol grounds and through the barricades outside."
The motion also noted that the investigation revealed that "contrary to Grace's assertions, Grace's adult son Jeremy Grace accompanied him inside the Rotunda.
Grace predicted in his interview with Cotta in June that he would be charged with a felony for "lying to the FBI," but to date no new charges have been forthcoming.