CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- An organizer of a white nationalist rally in Virginia that erupted in violence in 2017 is facing jail time for failing to comply with court orders in a federal lawsuit against him and other rally participants, according to a group backing the suit.
U.S. District Judge Norman Moon on Monday ordered Elliott Kline to report to a U.S. Marshals office on Jan. 6, “making clear that he will sit in jail until the court is satisfied he has complied with court orders and purged himself of contempt," Integrity First for America said in a news release.
The judge also ordered Kline to pay $600 in sanctions to plaintiffs who sued him and other far-right extremists who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the group said.
Amy Spitalnick, the group's executive director, said in an email that the judge ruled from the bench on Monday. A written order wasn't immediately docketed online.
Moon found Kline in civil contempt of court in November and ordered him to appear at a hearing in Charlottesville.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have said Kline has ignored court orders to turn over certain records, including credentials for email and social media accounts he has used.
In his contempt order last month, the judge said Kline’s excuses for failing to comply with court orders were “unbelievable, contradictory, and at odds with the plain facts in the record.”
“Put simply, Kline’s longrunning practice of trying to duck his obligations to the Court and to Plaintiffs in this case must come to an end,” Moon wrote.
Kline, who has used the alias “Eli Mosley,” didn't immediately respond Monday to a phone call seeking comment.
Kline served as leader of a white nationalist group called Identity Evropa, which was known for its campaigns to post white supremacist propaganda on college campuses. Kline receded from a public role in the white nationalist movement after The New York Times investigated and debunked his claims about his military service.
The lawsuit says Kline moderated an online forum to privately communicate with other Charlottesville rally organizers and participants before the gathering and helped plan a torchlit rally through the University of Virginia’s campus on the eve of the rally.
During the weekend of the rally, a neo-Nazi plowed his car into a crowd of the counterdemonstrators, killing a civil rights activist and injuring many others.
A trial for the lawsuit is scheduled for October 2020.