The attorney for QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley recently asserted that many people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 have “brain damage” and were led astray by “propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen” since Adolf Hitler.
Albert Watkins told TPM that “his client had Asperger’s syndrome and indicated that Chansley’s mental state — and the impact of Trump’s ‘propaganda’ efforts — would play a role in his case.”
He then launched into an offensive explanation for the actions of many insurrectionists:
“A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all fucking short-bus people,” Watkins told TPM. “These are people with brain damage, they’re fucking retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”
“But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers — they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. Fuck, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since fucking Hitler.”
TPM noted that “the so-called ‘Trump defense’ continues to resurface as alleged participants in the Capitol riot wend their way through the legal system.”
And even though the tactic may not get the defendants entirely off the hook, lawyers with whom TPM spoke, including defense attorneys for the accused, say there’s an upside to roping Trump into the case — including, potentially, a lighter sentence.
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