A MAGA rioter learned a hard lesson recently: No matter how many episodes of Law & Order you’ve watched, it doesn’t make you a good lawyer.
Brandon Fellows appeared before a federal judge on Tuesday to argue that his bond status be reconsidered. He’d been indicted on charges stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6th insurrection but had been granted a pretrial release before his court date was set. Fellows is facing a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding after he entered the Capitol building through a broken window without permission from Capitol Police and proceeded to smoke marijuana in Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) office. Despite the severity of the charges he’s facing, a judge ruled to let him out on bond before his trial takes place, only to quickly reverse that order when Fellows repeatedly violated the conditions of his release, first by missing a court-ordered mental health evaluation and then, allegedly, by calling a probation officer’s mother.
So, yeah, Fellows is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but even the presiding judge for his case questioned his mental capacity when Fellows, who has no formal law training, requested to represent himself in court this week. According to WUSA9 (and via The Daily Beast) Fellows asked U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden to appoint him as his own lawyer, saying he spent two weeks in the D.C. jail’s law library and felt confident he could do a better job of it than his court-appointed defender. McFadden repeatedly warned Fellows against this idea, but eventually, the judge granted his request.
What happened next is something that everyone but Fellows could see coming.
Not only did he make some bizarre claims as NSA agent filing charges against him (they didn’t), he also admitted to committing even more felonies, and serious ones at that. Fellows told prosecutors that, yes, he had broken into the Capitol building and yes, he had smoked marijuana in a senator’s office. He also told the court that he had conversations with his lawyer, trying to find a legal loophole to get McFadden removed from his case and that he’d done something similar with the last judge assigned to him.
According to court reporting from WUSA9, Fellows said he had intentionally given the phone number of another judge’s wife as his emergency contact, so that judge would be removed from his case. He asked his then-lawyer if he should do something similar to get McFadden removed, suggesting he could call a family member of McFadden’s to do so. Later, Fellows also admitted to his role in the Jan. 6th riots and confirmed he had missed scheduled mental health evaluations and drug testings since his release from jail.
Obviously, the judge was not happy about all that, so, you guessed it, Fellows is going back behind bars — and his stay will probably be substantially longer after he’s incriminated himself so badly.