A federal court hearing devolved into a complete mess on Tuesday after Capitol rioter Zach Alam, known as “helmet boy”, rejected a plea agreement Tuesday after previously demanding one, and proclaimed himself “general counsel” in his case.
According to a report from investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane, Alam, who was captured on video using a riot helmet to smash a window to the Speaker’s Lobby during the Jan. 6 riot, told a federal judge Tuesday that he is representing himself as “general counsel,” and that his attorney was merely “an assistant,”
Following Alam’s outbursts at a hearing last month — when he demanded that prosecutors make him a plea offer — the judge muted his microphone for most of Tuesday’s virtual hearing, McFarlane reported.
“We’re not going to have any disruptions in this hearing today…. are we clear?” court staff told Alam at the start of the hearing.
After defense attorney Michael Lawlor announced his client was rejecting the government’s offer, Alam tried to interject but was rebuffed by the judge. When Alam was finally allowed to speak, he said: “I need the offer stated for the record. He’s my lawyer, I’m general counsel for my own case. I want to know what it is. Michael never contacts me.”
The judge declined request and advised him to discuss the matter further with Lawlor.
“Alam was trying to argue that he’s defending himself. Judge cut him off, court muted him… they sent him back to private breakout room with defense attorney. This was a mess,” MacFarlane reported.
The judge ultimately scheduled another hearing for Sept. 15.
Court staff just warned Alam, "We're not going to have any disruptions in this hearing today…. are we clear?"
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) August 17, 2021
Friedrich gets all the way thru the hearing before unmuting Alam.
Alam says he wants offer stated for record. "I need the offer stated for the record. He's my lawyer, I'm general counsel for my own case."
Friedrich: Not going to have plea on the record for now.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) August 17, 2021