As participants in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continue to make their way through the court system, the “Trump defense” is being employed by a growing number of those who’ve been charged.
Speaking to Talking Points Memo, the lawyer for Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” said that the upside to including Donald Trump in his client’s defense is that it could get him less time behind bars.
“Legally, these are unprecedented cases,” attorney Albert Watkins told TPM. “And as a result, while the judge may not be compelled to emotionally embrace, as a matter of opinion, the effect or the impact of the words and actions of the former President as being a cause, there is going to necessarily be a legal compulsion to address that reality as part of an evaluation of culpability.”
Watkins went on to say that Chansley has Asperger’s syndrome and his mental state — as well as Trump’s “propaganda efforts” could shave time off his client’s case.
“A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all f***ing 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,” he added. “These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. F***, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f***ing Hitler.”