Federal prosecutors are raising concerns that a former Orange County police chief’s court filing, with dozens of pages of seemingly rhetorical conspiracy-oriented questions, could signal he plans to turn his Jan. 6 insurrection trial into a “circus.”
Alan Hostetter — a former San Clemente resident who briefly led the La Habra Police Department before becoming a yoga instructor and a conservative activist — is accused of teaming with a Ladera Ranch entrepreneur and four alleged far-right militia members from Riverside County for a conspiracy leading up to the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Last week, Hostetter — acting as his own attorney — responded to a routine, procedural filing by federal prosecutors regarding what evidence will be presented at trial with a lengthy motion referencing dozens of conspiracy theories, including those surrounding Jan. 6, the JFK assassination, the Sept. 11 attacks and the recent firing of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Prosecutors this week filed a response, telling a federal judge that Hostetter’s motion illustrates their concerns that he will “make the trial into a circus … exactly the type of of sideshow the United States is seeking to prevent. …
“It is a disorganized and purposeless journey through the history of 20th- and 21st-century conspiracy theories,” prosecutors wrote.
Defendants who wish to serve as their own attorneys are warned by judges that going without legal counsel is almost always a bad idea. In Hostetter’s case, a judge told him, “I strongly urge you not to try to represent yourself.”
Prosecutors have requested that a judge schedule a conference when the court can “set out its expectations” for what arguments can be made.
A month ago, Hostetter’s main co-defendant, Ladera Ranch resident Russell Taylor, accepted a plea deal admitting to organizing a group of “fighters” to travel to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6; he agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
Hostetter was accused of being with a crowd on the Capitol steps that day, but not of entering the Capitol. He has waived his right to a jury trial in order to be tried by a federal judge. His trial is scheduled for early July.