Who is Pauline Bauer? Capitol rioter tells court 'God gave man dominion over law in Genesis 1'
WASHINGTON, DC: A Pennsylvania woman who allegedly stormed the Capitol on January 6 and told a police officer to “bring Nancy Pelosi out here now… we want to hang that f***ing b***h” has reportedly filed court documents claiming to be a divinely empowered entity immune from laws. The woman, who was taken into custody by the FBI, faces charges of multiple counts of violent entry, disruptive conduct, and obstruction of Congress.
Reportedly, prosecutors have alleged that she tried organizing buses to transport people to Washington, DC for a rally that preceded the riot. “Day trip to Washington DC on January 6, 2021 for the mega million rally. Need 51 people to fill a bus,” read a post from her restaurant’s Facebook page, as per court documents. “Contact Pauline at [a number that has since been disconnected].”
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During the riot, she allegedly stormed the Capitol and told a police officer that the crowd would further storm the building if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other officials were not released to the mob. “You bring them out or we’re coming in,” she allegedly said. “Bring them out now. They’re criminals. They need to hang.”
She also allegedly boasted about entering the Capitol shortly after the attack. “I am at the capital and was inside. No [sic] of us are armed just pissed that this is what we have to do to take our country back from communism,” she wrote from a now-deleted Facebook account, prosecutors allege.
Who is Pauline Bauer?
A Pennsylvania pizzeria owner, Bauer has reportedly demanded to represent herself in court. As per the Daily Beast, she also “appeared to threaten a court clerk with prison time”. Further, she declared herself a “self-governed individual” with supposed special legal privileges. On June 11, appearing in court via Zoom, she told a judge, “I am here by special divine appearance, a living soul,” adding, “I do not stand under the law. Under Genesis 1, God gave man dominion over the law.”
Bauer’s court-appointed lawyer said that she had been tapped as Bauer’s “stand-by” counsel. In one document filed by Bauer, she listed a series of alternative spellings of her name and the document, she incorrectly claimed, freed her from some government control. In another filing, Bauer threatened a court clerk with prison time, noting that it would be the penalty for failing to properly log her filings.
In one such filing, Bauer shared a document -- a family tree showing what Bauer said were ancestors born in Virginia and Pennsylvania before 1776 -- 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 Daily Beast noted that this has no bearing on US law.
According to a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, such documents are typical of "sovereign citizens", a pseudo-legal movement to which Bauer appears to subscribe. “Sovereign citizens will often refer to themselves as ‘flesh and blood’ people. They do this because they have this long-standing belief that the government has created artificial versions of them for various nefarious purposes,” ADL’s Mark Pitcavage said.
“Their filings and documents, to the layperson, have the look and feel of being actual legal filings, but they’re actually flights of fancy, magical thinking,” Pitcavage said. “As a result, all their arguments fail. Some judges will take the time to address them, issue by issue. Some will more abruptly or harshly dismiss them as gobbledegook.”
As per Bauer’s sister, she had become highly political during the COVID-19 pandemic, when her pizzeria had to contend with public health restrictions. “She became more involved in learning of her constitutional rights as a business owner throughout this ordeal and her involvement with peaceful assemblies led up to the January 6, 2021 rally in Washington, DC,” Bauer’s sister said in a letter to the court.
She further wrote, “She is a firm believer in The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights and is a very vocal woman who expresses her beliefs. Her participation at the January 6, 2021 rally in Washington DC was strictly to support her constitutional rights and I believe that the events that took place were provoked by other agitators in that crowd.”