In a shock to absolutely no one, Richard Spencer serving as his own lawyer has proven pretty terrible for, well, Richard Spencer. The glass-jawed Nazi known for barely being able to take a punch (among other undesirable traits) was forced to represent himself in a civil lawsuit after his real lawyer dropped Spencer for failing to pay up and adhere to his legal advice.
Spencer has spent a full week pretending he has any grasp of the law as one of 25 defendants who had a hand in the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Surprisingly, he is just one of two overconfident white dudes representing themselves in this case, the other being Christopher “Crying Nazi” Cantwell.
Cantwell’s had his fair share of bafflingly stupid moments, including losing his own witness list and preparing for trial by watching Tucker Carlson, but Spencer’s idiocy outshone him on Thursday. Over the course of a full day in the witness stand, Spencer was endlessly smacked down by his own words as attorney Michael Bloch pulled up transcripts and audio clips pushing back against the many denials Spencer offered for his own behavior.
Unicorn Riot’s live tweets of Thursday’s proceedings provide an incredible account of Spencer getting in his own way. His role as a witness absolutely undermined his own ability to successfully make a case for himself as his own lawyer.
The Sines vs. Kessler civil lawsuit was brought forth on behalf of nine Charlottesville residents who were injured during the “Unite the Right” rally and surrounding events. They’re hoping to receive compensatory and statutory damages from the defendants, whom they allege conspired to incite violence. Spencer certainly helped make the plaintiffs’ case today. Spencer spent hours perjuring himself in an effort to distance himself from his conduct before, during, and after the rally.
Bloch, who represents the plaintiffs, pulled up frequent instances in which Spencer either outright called for violence or agreed with someone else who did. James Kolenich, the white nationalist attorney representing many of the folks named as defendants, later took the time to throw Spencer under the bus on behalf of his clients during cross-examination. The lawyer pushed a theory that Spencer attempted to take over an alt-right organization in the run-up to the rally and played more of an active role in the “Unite the Right” event than he let on. As if that weren’t enough, Kolenich also brought up an instance in which Spencer’s credit card was declined for a $4 purchase.
Proceedings concluded with Cantwell just beginning to cross-examine Spencer, which Cantwell will continue doing on Friday. The trial initially began on Oct. 25 and is calendared for four weeks, according to the civil rights nonprofit Integrity First for America. Spencer likely won’t earn any accolades for being an amateur lawyer, a la Ted Bundy, but he certainly found one hell of a way to become the alt-right’s new favorite scapegoat.
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