Jacob Chansley, the real name of January 6th insurrectionist "QAnon Shaman," is one of many using the “Trump defense” in their criminal cases, as TPM reported. The tactic, like the “Foxitis” defense, is unlikely to be seen as a good excuse for the crime(s), but both may help to mitigate the punishment. With so many January 6th cases, prosecutors will likely be happy to make plea deals, TPM notes, and if defendants can persuade judges they were misled into their misdeeds, that could result in a lower sentence.
Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins spoke to TPM about what he sees as larger culprits:
“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.”
It’s no justification for taking part in an insurrection, but you’ve gotta admit, Watkins has a point about the propaganda!