The Pennsylvania woman who was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6—and who has since made outlandish claims as to her presence at her own court hearings—has been given a trial date.
Pauline Bauer, a pizzeria owner from Pennsylvania, is facing charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of Congress for joining the crowd of Donald Trump supporters that overran police and swarmed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 as Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
Bauer has been in federal custody since September, when U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden ordered her back into custody for violating the terms of her pretrial release.
McFadden, a Trump appointee, upheld that detention order in January.
At a status conference hearing on Friday, McFadden set Bauer’s trial for July 5.
“Frankly, for your sake, I’d like to get this tried,” McFadden told Bauer. “I’d like to give you an opportunity to make your case.”
Bauer is representing herself, although she does have access to a defense attorney serving as advisory counsel.
At Friday’s hearing, McFadden noted that Bauer had filed a motion to dismiss the federal obstruction charge, although he hadn’t yet read it or put it on the docket.
That’s because Bauer’s advisory attorney, Carmen Hernandez, has also filed a motion to dismiss the same charge. So far, at least seven judges on the District of Columbia circuit have rejected similar arguments.
Nonetheless, McFadden said that he would consider one of the two motions to dismiss before him. He told Bauer on Friday that she should consult with Hernandez and tell him which of the two motions to dismiss currently before him he should consider.
“If you want to file a new motion to dismiss, that’s fine,” McFadden said. “I’m going to go through this once. I’m not going to go through multiple motions to dismiss from you and Ms. Hernandez.”
McFadden has denied Bauer’s previous motions to dismiss in July, September, and November.
The issue of discovery also came up at Friday’s hearing.
Prosecutor James Peterson said the government has provided Bauer with multiple thumb drives containing copious amounts of discovery, including surveillance video and policy body-worn camera footage.
Hernandez said that while the government has provided hours of video discovery, she and Bauer don’t have everything.
“What [the discovery database] does not appear to contain are the vast number of private videos which the government has collected and is using as evidence in [the Jan. 6] cases,” Hernandez said, citing as examples videos recovered from smartphones and various media outlets.
During the hearing, Bauer made several attempts to address substantive issues, including evidence about the way Capitol police acted on Jan. 6 that she claims supports her defense.
“I have exhibits here that show the Capitol police standing by,” she said. “I have an exhibit showing them pulling down the barricades … I have an exhibit right here showing Capitol police waving people in.”
McFadden said he will evaluate her evidence at the appropriate time.
“That sounds to me like a trial issue,” he told Bauer. “At the motion to dismiss stage, I take the government’s assertions as true for purposes of the motion to dismiss. That doesn’t mean I automatically believe them at trial—far from it—but at the motion to dismiss stage, they get the benefit of the doubt.”
McFadden noted that Bauer appears to have several exhibits to use at trial.
Although Friday’s hearing was relatively calm, McFadden and Bauer have notably butted heads in the past, perhaps most notably at a September hearing in which McFadden decided to keep Bauer behind bars for violating the terms of her pretrial release.
At that hearing, sparks flew when Bauer cited a Bible passage to assert sovereign citizen talking points and argue that McFadden did not have jurisdiction over her.
“He gave man dominion over the land,” she said, apparently paraphrasing a quote from Genesis.
“Romans 13 — Let every person be subject to the governing authorities,” McFadden reportedly said in response.
“I am not a person,” Bauer replied, while claiming to have diplomatic immunity in appearing as a self-described “friend of the court.”
McFadden has previously suggested that Bauer bears responsibility for not only her actions, but of others who were at the Capitol that day.
McFadden recently sentenced Bauer’s co-defendant, William Blauser, to a $500 fine after he pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
“I can see how you were probably coerced in one way or the other by Ms. Bauer,” McFadden said at Blauser’s sentencing hearing.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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