Having failed to get a pardon from former President Donald Trump before he left office, it seems the so-called QAnon Shaman, through his attorney, is trying to gain favor in being held accountable for his actions by offering up just what Democrats have charged Trump with.
With Trump’s Senate impeachment trial set to get underway Tuesday, as Democrats attempt to remove a private citizen from an office he no longer holds, attorney Albert Watkins claimed the “propaganda” from Trump incited his client, Jacob Chansley, to participate in the storming of the Capitol.
Chansley was wearing a horned bearskin headdress the day the Capitol was attacked, and was arrested three days after the riot, charged with civil disorder, obstruction, and disorderly conduct — he now wants to testify at the impeachment trial because he claims “he was betrayed” by Trump.
CNN gave Watkins’ reach of a defense a platform on the eve of Trump’s trial, with host Chris Cuomo sharing a statement from Chansley the attorney had previously released, saying he was “deeply disappointed” in the former president and claiming that Trump “was not honorable.”
“He let a lot of peaceful people down,” the statement said. “I have to leave judging him up to other people. I deeply regret and am sorry that I entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. I should not have been there.”
Watkins told Cuomo that what he and others missed was “the propaganda and the talk.”
“The talk by Trump, which was never comprised of a complete sentence. Ever. No subject, no verb, direct object followed by a period,” the lawyer said — there was a look of near panic in Cuomo’s eyes as he wondered where Watkins was heading.
“That Trump talk, that propaganda, was going on nonstop,” he continued. “Not just November, but since prior to Trump assuming the office. Trump’s tweets, his social media exploitation, what he said day in, day out, that we all permitted, included untruths, misrepresentations, out and out lies. Not every now and then, every day. Not once a day, multiple times daily.”
Watkins was just getting warmed up as he drew in the pandemic and “the absence of humanity” as part of his position.
“You couple that with a protracted period with COVID, social distancing, the absence of humanity around a lot of people who get their news from TikTok and social media and from this…,” he said.
“Fox!” Cuomo interjected.
“…internet coffee klatch and it was a mess,” Watkins continued. “It was a mess that created an environment on January 6th which was not one month in the making. For people like Jake, for millions of Americans, they truly did hang on every word of their president, our president, the person that we permitted day in, day out, to speak to us in ways and in fashions that simply weren’t true.”
After Watkins intimated that his client was going through “the process of unwinding from years of Trump, years of lies,” Cuomo interrupted to say he was making it sound “like he’s being deprogrammed from a cult.”
“Well, I’ve likened the entire thing to 1978 and Jim Jones down in Guyana,” Watkins replied. “This is very real for these people. These are our brothers and sisters and our families. They’re millions of Americans. The unwinding process is not going to be completed at the end of this week, whenever this impeachment trial is concluded.”
“It’s a process that’s going to require patience and compassion,” he added. “People who are introspective like my client and smart like my client and alone and able to exploit that time alone, he’s moved through it more quickly than most of my white-collar crime defendant clients.”
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