Andrew Anglin’s world just got a lot smaller.
Anglin, one of the nation’s most notorious neofascists as the longtime publisher of the explicitly pro-Nazi Daily Stormer, has a number of multimillion-dollar legal judgments against him that he has made a second career out of skipping out on and avoiding, claiming that he lives overseas now. But now a federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for Anglin in the case involving the largest of these judgments—which means that Anglin is now officially a federal fugitive, and his options are going to become very limited.
On Wednesday in Missoula, Montana, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen issued a bench warrant for Anglin’s arrest, after three years of Anglin ignoring a $14 million judgment against him. In August 2019, he was ordered to pay that amount to a Montana woman for orchestrating an antisemitic harassment campaign against her family.
Whitefish resident Tanya Gersh, a real-estate agent, was bombarded by Anglin’s army of online neo-Nazis in 2016 with a flood of threats and hateful messages after Anglin targeted her for having helped organize a local campaign against white nationalist Richard Spencer, who lived in Whitefish part-time then. Anglin claimed that she and other Jewish residents had engaged in an “extortion racket.” He wound up publishing 30 stories at the Stormer attacking her by name. The harassment included posting photos of her and her children (including a photoshop of them entering Auschwitz).
“So Then—Let’s Hit Em Up. Are y’all ready for an old-fashioned Troll Storm?” Anglin wrote. He demurred that he was not advocating “violence or threats of violence or anything even close to that.” A week later, he published another post claiming he was preparing to bus in skinheads from the Bay Area of California: “I have already worked out most of the details with the leaders of the local groups,” he wrote. “We are continuing our barrage against the criminal Jews of Whitefish,” he wrote. “We are planning an armed protest in Whitefish … we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles.”
Gersh, with the assistance of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), sued Anglin. In response to the suit, Anglin allegedly fled the country to avoid being served the court papers—reportedly to places such as Cambodia and Albania. After multiple delaying tactics on Anglin’s part—mainly by not appearing in court—the case was resolved when Judge Christensen finally issued a default judgment against him in August 2019 and ordered him to pay over $4 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages to Gersh.
Anglin fell silent for a while and burrowed deeper into hiding afterward. Gersh’s attorneys say Anglin has paid nothing at all toward the judgment, and has blown off requests for information—regarding his assets, his revenues from the Stormer, and most of all, his whereabouts.
Earlier this year, on Sept. 28, a magistrate judge’s recommendation to hold Anglin in civil contempt for his failure to respond to post-judgment discovery requests about his monetary assets was adopted by a federal court, which granted Anglin 30 days to clear himself of contempt-of-court findings by complying. He again ignored the finding, so Christensen issued the warrant for Anglin's arrest this week.
He’s proven previously adept at just skipping out on any legal consequences for his hateful before. A federal judge in Ohio awarded Muslim American radio host Dean Obeidallah $4.1 million in damages from Anglin in June 2019, after the Stormer published a piece claiming he had taken responsibility for a May 2017 terrorist attack by Islamist radicals at an Ariana Grande concert. He’s been able to skip out on any payments in that case so far.
Similarly, Anglin was among the multiple defendants named in the Sines v. Kessler trial targeting organizers of the lethal “Unite the Right” march in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, but was among the no-shows when the federal lawsuit was heard in court last year—and has not poked his head up in any known locale since the jury ruled in November 2021 that the defendants owe over $26 million to the plaintiffs they victimized.
Anglin, a native of Ohio, also was found liable for $600,000 in damages awarded to an American University student leader he targeted at the Stormer. He has consistently claimed in court to be living outside the U.S., though it is not clear this really is the case. Right-wing rumor mills sometimes have him hunkering down in a U.S. locale, though this may also just be misdirection. His current whereabouts are a mystery.
But international travel can be fraught for people with outstanding federal warrants, particularly if they attempt to enter or leave the United States, mainly because the likelihood is much higher that customs and border agents might turn up your warrant while processing you as part of a database search. So wherever Anglin currently might be hiding, the warrant likely will severely restrict his ability to move about anywhere else.
Anglin’s attorneys have claimed that he hasn't been to the U.S. since 2013 and has no intention of returning. On the Stormer, Anglin says he keeps his location secret because he receives "credible" death threats. At various times he has claimed to have taken up residency in various locations around the globe, including living in the Philippines sometime before 2010, and in Greece sometime in 2013. He claimed he moved to Cambodia four days before Gersh and the SPLC filed their lawsuit in 2017.
Anglin most recently popped up in the American political scene by endorsing Blake Masters, the GOP nominee for Arizona’s Senate seat (who is currently on the brink of losing that race). Anglin announced his eager support for Masters after a video went viral showing Masters throttling and shoving a 73-year-old man to the ground at a Republican fundraising event after the latter showed up wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.
“I cannot give a more forceful endorsement, and I demand that anyone in Arizona (who is not some kind of known neo-Nazi or whatever) get in contact with his campaign and see what kind of help he needs,” Anglin wrote. “This is exactly the kind of man this country needs.”
Masters promptly rejected the endorsement. “I’ve never heard of this guy, and I reject his support. The reason I’ve never heard of him is because he’s a nobody, and nobody cares about him except the media,” he responded to the Phoenix New Times. “They’d like to build him up in order to smear anybody who believes in common sense border security as some kind of ‘Nazi.’ It’s a cheap tactic from Mark Kelly’s media allies, and it’s not going to work.”
Investigative journalist Luke O’Brien, who’s written frequently about Anglin, told Jewish Insider that Anglin’s endorsement “doesn’t mean much in a traditional sense.”
“He’s not going to be turning out the vote,” O’Brien explained. “But it is notable for other reasons, especially in this context: Anglin is a bellwether for authoritarianism in America. He also tends to signal what the master plotters in the global anti-democratic movement have in mind to damage democracy.”
By endorsing a figure like Masters, as the Anti-Defamation League’s Marilyn Mayo explains, Anglin is attaching himself to a candidate who has aligned with the extremist right by embracing nativist politics and MAGA conspiracism and denialism, all of which intersect with his interests. It doesn’t really matter that Masters repudiates him—what matters is that he’s demonstrating his own proximity to the right-wing mainstream.
“Anglin exploits that to make it seem like extremism is being normalized,” Mayo said. “Unfortunately, that happens to be true these days.”
Daily Kos is the largest progressive organization online, but we don't have billionaire backers. We rely on readers like YOU. Chip in $5 to help us keep fighting for progressive values.
Holy crap, what an amazing night! Where do we even begin this week's episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday's extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and "soft" Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).