You have to admire their confidence, if nothing else. At least five of the more than 640 people charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot seem determined to prove themselves fools for clients, having asked and been granted the right to represent themselves in court. One is Pennsylvania restaurant owner Pauline Bauer, a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen who has repeatedly interrupted the judge presiding over her case, telling him she didn’t want “any lawyering from the bench.” That judge, Trevor McFadden, has jailed both Bauer and New York man Brandon Fellows, who may have accidentally perjured himself on the stand. Fellows told the court he had asked his previous attorney if he could get McFadden replaced by contacting the judge’s family—a potential obstruction of justice, the judge then told him. McFadden then added he’d be considering that action in Fellows’ riot case.
A second New Yorker, Eric Bochene, attempted to submit a “fee schedule” after being authorized to represent himself last month, apparently to charge the court for his work on his own case. Included on Bochene’s bill were fees of $250,000 for appearing at hearings “under protest and duress” and $5 million for a “forced giving of bodily fluids.” His schedule filing was denied by a judge, who said the defendant’s argument “lacks merit.” New York civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby said that in 40 years of practicing law he had seen zero defendants win their own acquittal.