Jason Lee Van Dyke, the suit-happy lawyer who represented and briefly led the Proud Boys extremist gang, has been suspended from practicing law in Texas after he threatened to kill a man he was suing, the State Bar of Texas confirmed.
Van Dyke, who has a penchant for targeting those who oppose him with violent threats, is banned from practicing law for three months and will be on probation for another nine, if he complies with a slew of conditions from the state bar, according to case documents.
Van Dyke has been in and out of legal trouble for months ― he was arrested in September and accused of filing a false police report, released on bond, then given a new bail hearing for threatening a man named Thomas Retzlaff, whom he was suing for defamation. Van Dyke didn’t show up to that bail hearing in December and again found himself in handcuffs.
And those were just the incidents on the books. The state bar told HuffPost as early as November 2017 that it was aware of other threats Van Dyke had made and admitted to, including acknowledging over the phone that he’d threatened to kill a “f**king n****r” on Twitter, as well as an entire family. At the time, Van Dyke was suing an anti-fascist for calling him and the Proud Boys neo-Nazis.
The state bar confirmed to HuffPost that it had forwarded statements to its disciplinary arm. Since the agency doesn’t normally comment on individuals, it wasn’t clear at the time whether it had opened a case against Van Dyke.
Now, if he wants to practice law again, he’ll have to pay a $7,500 fine, stay out of trouble and “seek mental health treatment,” according to the state bar documents. It wasn’t immediately clear how the outcome of other Van Dyke’s case ― which alleges he filed a false report for a burglary at his home that he was involved in ― might affect his probation.
Amid his own legal trouble, Van Dyke was intermittently promoted from lawyer to leader of the Proud Boys ― a gang of extremists known for harassing people online and attacking them in real life ― but was quickly ousted when he accidentally released the personal information of the group’s leadership and then threatened those who reached out to him about it.
Upon his ouster in November 2018, he sent me this email:
“Now that I am no longer part of the Proud Boys and no longer representing them, I want to let you know that you are a despicable and evil human being. It is my hope that your duties as a HuffPo reporter bring you to the metroplex this holiday season so that I can give you the gift of a left hook. Kiss my ass, faggot.”