The attorney for the suspect accused of killing Gambino crime syndicate boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali appears to be trying to craft an insanity defense by pinning the blame for his client’s actions on the allegedly hateful content he’d consumed on right-wing internet sites.
“His family and friends recognized and picked up significant changes in him over the past few months. Something clearly went wrong,” suspect Anthony Comello’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb said to the New York Post in an interview after the 24-year-old’s first hearing in court Monday.
“It’s not just an attorney saying that. The people who know him — who love him — will be the source of that information, that something dramatically happened to him that certainly seems to have been affected by the hate that is spewed throughout the Internet.”
According to the Daily Mail, Gottlieb had been referencing so-called “right-wing conspiracy websites.” What exactly is a right-wing conspiracy website? It appears to be any conservative news site that publishes “right-wing messages and memes” about “illegal immigrants, socialism and taxes.”
Some of these “right-wing messages and memes” wound up being posted on a secret Instagram account, “realamericasvoice_,” that Comello ran prior to his apprehension.
As of Tuesday, the Instagram page still remains active. It appears to contain an endless stream of provocative but harmless cartoons and memes aimed at Democrats and establishment Republicans.
Here are a few examples:
Comello’s attorney appears to believe that the sharing of these mostly anti-Democrat memes somehow led his client into murdering a crime mob boss with no discernible ties to Democrats.
It makes no sense. It’s as if his lawyer is trying to draw a connection where none exists. Why? Because it’s the easy way out. For starter’s, his client is definitely a Trump supporter.
“For his first court appearance last week, Comello had scribbled ‘MAGA Forever’, a reference to Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, on his hand,” the Daily Mail reported.
“He also had scrawled ‘United We Stand MAGA’ and ‘Patriots In Charge’, seeming to indicate he was influenced by QAnon — a discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging a secret plot by so-called ‘deep state’ operatives against Trump and his supporters.”
This is relevant because the ostensibly pro-Trump news sources that the president and his supporters consume, including even Fox News, have long been falsely accused of peddling dangerous conspiracy theories. This line of thinking is especially popular with CNN, ironically enough.
“Fox News and Fox Business have long been the peddlers of conspiracy theories, often for the purpose of damaging the reputations of members of the Democratic party,” former Obama era State Department spokeswoman turned CNN contributor opined in a column last year.
Dubious allegations such as this have been used by the left to push for the censorship and silencing of conservative voices. Last year The New York Times demanded censorship of the Internet on the grounds that “jihadists and right-wing extremists” are radicalizing everybody.
Never mind the demonstrable preponderance of left-wing extremists on the Internet …
Open season on ICE agents, now, too?
This is getting diriculous. https://t.co/5LNzFsvxcW
— Paul Meadows Tate (@KennethKinsey61) June 20, 2018
Comello’s attorney appears to be using this false narrative of “right-wing extremism” to form the foundation of what could potentially be an insanity defense, with the argument being that those “crazy right-wingers” made his client kill someone.
It’s a cheap, dirty argument, but defending killers is a cheap, dirty job.
Gottlieb’s possible argument also seems to neglect his client’s disturbed mental state. The Daily Mail noted that Comello “had an OxyContin” habit. The New York Post likewise pointed out that, following his arrest, Comello’s attorney requested that his jailers allow him to take his prescribed meds.
It’s unclear whether Comello had been on or off his meds when the murder of Cali occurred on March 13. It’s also unclear what meds he’s been prescribed. Was he prescribed OxyContin? If not, did the OxyContin he was abusing negatively interact with his medication?
Perhaps these are the questions that need to be answered, and not whether so-called “right-wing conspiracy websites” drove Comello to murder and more.
“Comello first drew the attention of police after he bizarrely tried to make a ‘citizen’s arrest’ of prominent Democratic figures including Pelosi, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep Adam Schiff, and Rep Maxine Waters,” the Daily Mail reported. “The day after … Comello went to Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence in Manhattan, in an attempt to arrest de Blasio.”
There are millions of proud Trump supporters who don’t act like this, let alone murder people.
Why not? Because they’re not wackjobs!
— CovFeFe La Flare (@GrapplingMantis) March 25, 2019
But good luck explaining that to the left …
Will never change…Media smearing Trump and his supporters…
— JHE (@MandaineE) March 25, 2019
Makes as much sense as the Russia collusion narrative.
— Not You (@Awesta) March 25, 2019
Total bullshit and the publishers know it. This was a hit, and most likely sanctioned.
— Fla_Guy (@FlaG56) March 25, 2019
A new liberal diversion? what a load of crap
— Matty ?????? (@chasing1053) March 25, 2019
— Adam Guild (@Adamguild) March 25, 2019
That’s the dumbest shit I have ever heard. You actually believe a Trump supporter would take out a hit on Frank Cali? A guy who would be for Trump? Please get a clue about how the mafia works. pic.twitter.com/e5tOm7sWVy
— Titus Frost (@ImperatorTruth) March 25, 2019
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