The fallout from the failed January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol will be felt for years to come. The upside is we’ve gotten a very official glimpse into the far-right conspiracy theories and ideology that Donald Trump’s rhetoric helped stoke in recent years.
The latest example comes from courtsey a MAGA rioter who was caught on camera entering the Capitol and threatening at least one member of congress. According to The Daily Beast, a Pennsylvania pizza shop owner named Pauline Bauer is accused of multiple crimes during the attack, including several counts of violent entry, disruptive conduct, and obstruction of Congress. According to the charges, Bauer tried to organize buses to transport people to Washington for the rally and told police inside the Capitol that she wanted to kill Nancy Pelosi.
“Bring Nancy Pelosi out here now,” Bauer reportedly said. “We want to hang that f*cking bitch.”
All of that is disturbing enough, but in her legal filings Bauer is using what experts called “an inadvisable legal strategy”: She recently said she has chosen to represent herself in court while going on on a wild rant about sovereign citizenship.
But in what experts describe as an inadvisable legal strategy, Bauer has demanded to represent herself in court, appeared to threaten a court clerk with prison time, and declared herself a “self-governed individual” with special legal privileges.
Bauer does not simply appear in court, she clarified during a June 11 proceeding via Zoom. “I am here by special divine appearance, a living soul,” she told a judge that day, while stating that she did not want an attorney.
“I do not stand under the law,” she said. “Under Genesis 1, God gave man dominion over the law.”
The sovereign citizen movement is complicated, but it’s essentially an anti-government belief that says they are above any laws and also, of course, should not pay taxes. Which is why actually being arrested and tried for crimes has, well, not exactly jived with her whole deal.
In one document, filed last week, Bauer listed a series of strange alternative spellings of her name in a document that she (incorrectly) claimed freed her from some government control.
Bauer appears to have attempted multiple avenues of sovereign legal strategy. In one recent filing, she appeared to threaten a court clerk with prison time, noting that it would be the penalty for failing to properly log her filings.
In another new filling, she offered a document that “serves as Proof that my living DNA existed on this Land before there was a UNITED STATES of America or Any STATE Thereof.” The attached document was a family tree showing what Bauer said were ancestors born in Virginia and Pennsylvania before 1776. (Even if accurate, this has no bearing on U.S. law.)
Alas, this is probably unlikely to actually work in her favor. There’s reportedly plenty of evidence that she went to DC, threatened political leaders, and was inside the Capitol. And there’s (of course) evidence on Facebook that she organized transportation to DC through her pizza business. So despite what she may believe, reality isn’t exactly something that can be warped here in her favor.
[via The Daily Beast]