A judge has branded a Capitol rioter facing 20 years in prison for acting as his own lawyer as “foolish.”
Alan Hostetter, a 56-year-old California man, is the latest Capitol riot defendant to hire his own lawyer, a move that a judge warned hasn’t always worked in his courtroom.
Hostetter allegedly planned to go to the Capitol on January 6 to send a message to Congress about the “stolen” election, believing that former President Donald Trump had won the election fairly. Hotsetter, one of the most high-profile defendants, faces 20 years in jail for conspiring to hinder Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
At a hearing on Thursday, Judge Royce Lamberth told Hostetter that acting as his own defense attorney is “foolish.” According to NBC4 Washington’s Scott MacFarlane, Lamberth said the defendant will have a “fool for a client” if he represents himself, and warned Hostetter that he’s never seen a defendant successfully act as his own counsel.
“If I were charged with a crime, I would never represent myself,” Lamberth stated. “However, I’m not going to deny you your right.” According to court records, Hostetter, who created a group that opposes government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions, is accused of using the company’s YouTube channel to propagate his conviction that Trump votes were swapped to Biden. In a video from November, he said that persons at the “highest level” needed to be made a “example of with two or three executions.” Hostetter claimed in a Telegram chat that he was coming to Washington, D.C., at the former president’s request, after staging a “Stop the Steal” demonstration in California. He promised to come there with “bullhorns on fire, to let the swamp dwellers know we will not let them steal our nation from us,” and urged others to join him.
Court filings allege that Hostetter had intentions to “go back to the Capitol” after Trump’s event at the Ellipse ended on January 3, warning that things would “come to a head” in the coming days.
“The 202l version of 1776 was the “shot heard around the globe!” The war lasted for eight years. We’re only getting started, so bear with us “Hostetter captioned a snapshot of himself inside the Capitol that he posted on Instagram.
Hundreds of people have been charged in the aftermath of the Capitol violence. This is a condensed version of the information.