With Hundreds Of Other January 6 Protestors Entering Pleas, Hostetter Heading To Trial

While 465 of the 978 people who were present during the January 6, 2021 mass protest against the results of the 2000 presidential election have entered guilty pleas and two have been convicted on charges relating to what the U.S. Government says was a seditious insurrection, former Assistant Fontana Police Chief Alan Hostetter is rolling the dice, insisting that prosecutors take him to trial.
A pretrial hearing on his case is scheduled for January 15 and his trial is set to begin on July 6.
Though Hostetter’s claim of innocence has remained constant and unchanged since his arrest on June 10, 2021 and his first appearance in court on June 14, 2021 followed by his response to the government’s superseding indictment filed on December 1, 2021, he has made a radical departure from his initial contention that he stands in solidarity with five associates from Southern California who were with him in the nation’s capital and that the government cooked charges up against all of them. He is now contending that at least some or maybe even all of those five – Russell Taylor, Erik Warner, Felipe “Tony” Martinez, Derek Kinnison, and Ronald Mele – are, in fact, government agents who were seeking to entrap him.In both the original indictment, which was unsealed and filed with the federal court in Washington, D.C. on June 9, 2021 and the December 1, 2021 superseding indictment, Hostetter is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct within a restricted building and disorderly conduct within a restricted building in order to disrupt or impede the government so to prevent attendance at an official proceeding, according to Channing D. Phillips, the acting United States Attorney in the District of Columbia.
The federal indictments dwell as much or more on Hostetter’s activity and actions prior to January 6, 2021 as on his participation in the storm of protest that took place that day at, around and, after barriers around the U.S. Capitol were breached and dissenters questioning the results of the November 3, 2020 election raged out of control as then-Vice-President Mike Spence was to certify the Electoral College choice of president based on ballots cast in that election. The indictments describe how the American Phoenix Project, an entity founded by Hostetter which he said was intended to stand as a beacon of truth in the torrent of misinformation that was accompanying the COVID-19 “panic, simultaneously educate the masses with regard to vaccines while counteracting intentional misrepresentations by the mass media and to prevent Americans’ Constitutional rights from being violated, was misused by Hostetter to engage in political activities in defiance of federal tax law. Though the American Phoenix Project was cataloged by the Internal Revenue Services as a tax-exempt organization, Hostetter and his associates utilized the nonprofit’s media arm to support Donald Trump and assert that the November 2020 election had been stolen from the ex-president. Federal tax law prohibits anyone speaking on behalf of a nonprofit to support a political candidate or oppose a political candidate.
Furthermore, according to the federal government, Hostetter physically threatened those who maintained that Joseph Biden’s election was legitimate.
Both indictments state, “From at least in or around November 2020, Hostetter used the American Phoenix Project as a platform to advocate violence against certain groups and individuals that supported the 2020 presidential election results.
“On November 27, 2020, Hostetter posted a video of himself on his American Phoenix Project YouTube channel that he had taken previously, while driving from California to Washington D.C. to attend the “Million MAGA March” in support of former President Trump, which took place on November 14, 2020 in Washington, D.C,” the indictments continue. “In the video, Hostetter asserted his belief that votes for Trump were ‘switched’ to Biden and otherwise ‘stolen’ and that: ‘… some people at the highest levels need to be made an example of with an execution or two or three. Because when you commit treason against this country and you disenfranchise the voters of this country and you take away their ability to make decisions for themselves, you strip them of their Constitution rights. That’s not hyperbole when we call it tyranny, that’s fucking tyranny. And tyrants and traitors need to be executed as an example…. I’m going to D.C. I’m going to be there on Saturday for this march. I hope there are a million patriots there. Between that, that’s going to be a shot across the bow of the deep state when they see a million patriots surrounding that shit hole of a city – the swamp. Because it’s gonna make all those swamp creatures know that at any time we want we’ll come back with a million patriots and we’ll surround that city…. There’s gonna be a million of us showing up to make this statement here in Washington, D.C., and I’m telling the swamp right now, that we will be back if this doesn’t get resolved peacefully and soon…”
According to the indictment, “On December 12, 2020, the American Phoenix Project hosted a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at Huntington Beach. At the rally, Hostetter gave a speech in which he stated: ‘We’re gonna fix this before this is all over. There must, absolutely must, be a reckoning. There must be justice. President Trump must be inaugurated on January 20th. And he must be allowed to finish this historic job of cleaning out the corruption in the cesspool known as Washington, D.C. The enemies and traitors of America both foreign and domestic must be held accountable. And they will. There must be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup.”
Despite Hostetter being charged, along with the others, of having violated 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(I) – entering and remaining in a restricted building and grounds, the indictment’s narrative does not in actuality describe Hostetter as actually entering the Capitol building.
The indictment unequivocally states that Warner did enter Capitol building. Nowhere, however, does it indicate that Hostetter, Martinez, Mele, Warner or Kinnison went into the building but that rather they were present at the National Mall grounds as well as on the Capitol steps, the West Terrace’s lower level and the West Terrace’s upper level immediately outside the Capitol building.
According to the indictment, on January 6, “In the early morning hours, Taylor, Hostetter, Person One, and others known and unknown met in a group in downtown Washington, D.C. to walk to the Ellipse for a
rally featuring a speech by President Trump. Prior to the rally on the Ellipse, Hostetter made plans to “move back to the Capitol” after the events at the Ellipse concluded. Taylor, Hostetter, and Person One congregated with others known and unknown in the crowd on the Mall for the rally. Mele, Martinez, Kinnison, and Warner also congregated on the National Mall and posed for a photo there. In the photo, Martinez, Kinnison, and Warner made a hand signal showing affiliation with a Three Percenter group.”
The Three Percenters are an American right wing anti-government militia which is part of the broader patriot movement that has a presence and members in Canada. The group, which is heavily laden with both current and former military personnel and law enforcement officers, advocates the preservation of Second Amendment rights and resistance to U.S. federal government overreach. The group’s name derives from the claim that “the active forces in the field against the King’s tyranny never amounted to more than three percent of the colonists” during the American Revolution. The Three Percenter movement’s origin corresponded with the 2008 election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, and membership in the militia increased as a consequence of the belief among many that Obama would pursue policies, such as strict gun control laws, by which the government would narrow the rights of individual citizens.
Prosecutors allege that Hostetter, Taylor, Mele, Martinez, Kinnison, and Warner are committed Three Percenters, although that status is not, in and of itself, a crime.
According to the indictments, “Mele and Martinez wore camouflage-print plate-carrier vests. Taylor, Hostetter and others known and unknown walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Taylor wore [a] black plate-carrier vest and carried a knife in a vest pocket. He also carried a backpack containing a stun baton.”
It is when they reached the Capitol grounds, according to the prosecution’s narrative which was accepted by the grand jury, that the crucial act linking the six – Hostetter, Taylor, Martinez, Mele, Warner and Kinnison – to the act of insurrection that took place inside the Capitol occurred.
“At 2:13 pm, Warner entered the Capitol Building through a broken window,” the indictment states.
Taylor did not remain in the building for long, something less than 17 minutes, according to the government, since, according to the indictment, “At approximately 2:30 pm, Taylor and Hostetter joined rioters on the lower floors of the West Terrace of the Capitol who were pushing through a line of law enforcement officers trying to hold them back. Taylor, still carrying a knife in the front chest pocket of his plate carrier vest, urged on rioters attempting to push through another line of officers on a lower level of the West Terrace, saying, ‘Move forward Americans!’”
A plate carrier is a type of bulletproof vest, which also has pockets that serve to carry ammunition or as a holster or weapon holder.
“Taylor then turned back to the officers a few feet away from him, who were trying to keep the rioters from moving toward the Upper West Terrace and Capitol Building, saying, ‘Last chance boys. Move back!’ Taylor, followed closely by Hostetter, then pushed through the area that the law enforcement officers had been blocking, moved up the stairs onto a structure erected for the Inauguration, and continued moving
on to the Upper West Terrace. On the Upper West Terrace, Hostetter stated, ‘The people have taken back
their house …. Hundreds of thousands of patriots showed up today to take back their government!’
Taylor yelled to other rioters, ‘Inside!’ and Taylor and Hostetter then moved toward the Capitol Building. At 2:38 pm, Martinez, wearing a plate-carrier vest, and Kinnison, wearing a gas mask, joined rioters in the restricted area on the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol Building.”
According to the indictment, Mele shot a “selfie” video of the riot on his cell phone from the steps next to the Upper West Terrace and stated, “We stormed the Capitol.” The government has apparently obtained a copy of that photo.
According to the indictment, “Taylor met Martinez and Kinnison on the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol.”
The indictment collectively accuses Hostetter, Mele, Martinez, Kinnison, Warren and Taylor of violating not just 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(I), which pertains to entering and remaining in a restricted building and grounds as well as U.S.C. § 1752(b)(I)(A), which involves an enhancement of the maximum sentence from a fine and/or imprisonment for not more than one year up to a maximum ten years in prison if the violator is carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
In this way, the language of the indictment, although precise in many respects, remains less than clear on at least two crucial points.
Elsewhere in the indictment in reference to when Hostetter and Taylor had gone to the Ellipse to witness President Trump’s speech is the statement, “Hostetter and Taylor remained outside the secure area of the Ellipse where President Trump was speaking because they were carrying ‘personal protective gear’ that was not allowed inside under Secret Service regulations.”
In this way, how a jury of his peers will interpret Hostetter’s possession of a yet-undefined weapon – most likely either a gun or a knife – while he was out and about on the streets of Washington, D.C. on the morning and afternoon of January 6, 2001 will be of crucial importance in his trial. Unlike Taylor, who may or may not have been caught up in the intensity of the moment, Hostetter did not go into the Capitol. As a former law enforcement official, he most likely has – or at the time had – a concealed weapon permit issued in the State of California, which would have been valid in the nation’s capital.
A second crucial interpretation to be made by the jury would be whether he entered into a restricted building and grounds.
According to U.S.C. § 1752(c), “In this section – (1) the term “restricted buildings or grounds” means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area – (A) of the White House or its grounds, or the vice president’s official residence or its grounds; (B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or (C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”
Since the insurrection that is at the heart of January 6 contretemps was the attempt to interrupt or prevent the certification of the Electoral College vote, which took place in the Capitol building, a jury might conclude Hostetter had not entered nor remained in a restricted building and grounds, and was thus not guilty of three of the four charges against him, namely entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct within a restricted building and disorderly conduct within a restricted building in order to disrupt or impede the government so to prevent attendance at an official proceeding. If, however, the jury were to conclude that either or both the Lower West Terrace and the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol building constituted restricted grounds, he could very well be adjudged as guilty of the three counts alleged in that portion of the indictment. In addition, Hostetter is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, which is independent of his having entered into a restricted building or grounds. On that count, even if the jury were to find him not guilty on the other three charges, he could yet be deemed guilty if the jury believes his action in encouraging others to prevent the election certification from taking place indeed led to the obstruction of the proceeding.
Hostetter, was formerly represented by Attorney Bill Essayli, who has since been elected to the California Assembly, as well as by John Pierce, Elita Amato and Karen Kenney. He is now representing himself.
In his first major sally against the U.S. Attorney’s Office contesting the case filed against him while acting as his own legal counsel, Hostetter filed a motion to dismiss the indictment due to “outrageous government conduct.” In that motion, Hostetter alleged that a host of agents provocateur and informants working “at the behest of federal handlers from the FBI and/or U.S intelligence agencies” had set him up for the indictment to neutralize his efforts to protest and reverse the stay-at-home orders issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and the “freedom movement” he was leading in Southern California that was resisting the world domination agenda of international communism, Mormonism and Freemasonry through his effort to ensure the reelection of Donald Trump. In his motion, Hostetter identified several of those agents provocateur, including Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Paul Ketchum, a street artist in Orange County known only as “Bandit,” civil rights attorney Leigh Taylor Dundas, Billionaire Irvine Smith, social activist Michael Inzano and his co-defendant Taylor.
In the motion, Hostetter revealed that the individual identified as Person One in the indictment was Irvine Smith. He further stated that Taylor had suggested that he stay at the Kimpton George Hotel in Washington, D.C. when he was there for the Stop the Steal Rally on November 14, 2020 and the protest against the election certification on January 6, 2021. The Kimpton George Hotel, according to Hostetter, is “likely a hotel the FBI/intel agencies use to surveil and monitor specific targets, of which defendant most certainly was by November of 2020.”
In the motion, Hostetter insisted he had no seditious intent by being in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
“The only plan or intention that day was to peacefully and lawfully protest a stolen election,” he wrote.
Hostetter wrote that “Defendant believed that any discussions or messages being circulated by others and about carrying ‘personal protective gear’ that day had to do with being able to defend oneself against a possibly violent and large BLM/Antifa counterprotest that might occur, thereby placing Trump supporters in physical danger. Defendant estimates that he arrived at the U.S. Capitol roughly 45 minutes to an hour after the breaching of the Capitol had already begun. Defendant, at no time prior to arriving at the Capitol, had made any plans with anyone to commit an illegal act, nor did he have any intention of moving past any police perimeter lines or disrupting the proceeding inside the Capitol building.”
Part of Hostetter’s formula as an activist in California was to carry and use a bullhorn to stir up crowds at the rallies he attended. He had a bullhorn with him on January 6, 2021.
“Defendant would estimate tens of thousands of people had already surrounded the Capitol building and surrounding streets on all sides by the time defendant arrived at the Capitol,” according to Hostetter’s motion. “Defendant recalls walking to Taylor’s right side and slightly behind Taylor at the time we arrived at the Capitol grounds. Immediately upon stepping onto the Capitol lawn, before having any opportunity to survey the situation or try to determine where we should stand in or near the crowd to join the protest, a man at the edge of the main crowd yelled words to the effect of, ‘You with the bullhorn!’ (Pointing directly at defendant and then looking down at his phone as if he were reading a text or a news report). ‘Get on your bullhorn and let the people know… Pence just betrayed Trump. It’s over. We’re doomed!’ or words to that effect. Defendant believes it very likely this unknown man encouraging defendant’s use of the bullhorn was likely working with Taylor and his handlers to initiate the sequence of events that led to defendant ultimately standing on the Capitol Plaza. Defendant did not do as the man requested. After the unknown man yelled at defendant, co-defendant Russ Taylor immediately looked over his shoulder at defendant and yelled, ‘Let’s go!’ Taylor then began moving quickly towards the Capitol building by ducking under a tarp and rapidly walking up some stairs. Taylor was defendant’s friend at the time so defendant joined his friend and followed him. Not having any idea where Taylor was headed, other than generally in the direction of the Capitol building, defendant simply followed him. Defendant would describe this as akin to a halfback following a lead blocker on a football field. Taylor is so large that all defendant could initially see was Taylor’s back. Defendant assumed that at some point they would arrive at a location where either a fence or a mass of protesters and police officers would likely prevent them from moving any further. In hindsight, the route Taylor was leading defendant along was suspiciously clear and with few people blocking the route. Defendant believes it likely this route was predetermined by Taylor and whoever was handling him before defendant arrived at the Capitol building.”
This led to what Hostetter said was a “chokepoint” where there was a “rugby scrum” consisting of officers and protesters.
According to Hostetter, “Eventually the crowd below the chokepoint where defendant was located broke through the police line below and moved closer to the Capitol Building.”
Hostetter said the crowd did not break through the police line, as described in the indictment, but that “the police officers manning a perimeter post simply turn[ed] around and walk[ed] away from it, thereby abandoning it, and protesters then walk[ed] freely through the area the officers used to be located at.”
Hostetter said he was quoted accurately in the indictment as having said, “The people have taken back their house… Hundreds of thousands of patriots showed up today to take back their government,” remarking, “Defendant stands by that statement today. The statement was not made in a spirit of violence. It was certainly not made in a spirit of ‘insurrection.’ It was awe inspiring to have been in that crowd of patriots and to have honorably and peacefully protested against this literal communist/globalist overthrow of the United States Government and the people of our great nation. Defendant did not personally witness any extreme act of violence being directed at law enforcement officers. If anything, law enforcement seemed to be acting much more provocatively and violently against the crowd for the purpose of provoking the crowd into violence against them rather than the other way around. The security perimeter fencing was intentionally, and by design lacking, in order to encourage and facilitate the breach and ultimately the entire ‘riotous’ situation. Federal law enforcement, led by the FBI, completely owns this so-called ‘riot’ for that reason alone. People tend to forget that the election of 2020 was actually stolen from a duly elected president whom (sic) was elected in one of the biggest landslide victories in the history of our country. It was also stolen from We the People. This was obvious in November of 2020, regardless of how much the Main Stream Media pretends to say it isn’t so. It has been proven even more obvious today as more and more has been learned about the massive amount of voter fraud, both organic and electronic, that occurred on November 3, 2020.”
Near where they were, doors into the Capitol that were previously closed and apparently locked, Hostetter said, “popped open. Defendant believes it is possible these doors may have been opened from the inside, either remotely by a control center or by Capitol police officers on the other side of the door.”
Hostetter wrote that “Russell Taylor immediately yelled to defendant either, ‘Let’s go!’ as he pointed to the open door or he yelled ‘Inside.’ Defendant recalls grabbing Taylor by the wrist or arm and telling him that defendant was not going any further than where they were already located on the plaza and refused to enter the building. Taylor gave defendant an obviously disappointed look.”
Hostetter’s motion did not succeed, and the case against him is proceeding.
-Mark Gutglueck

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