For those who stormed the Capitol back on January 6th and found themselves arrested, the last several months have not been all that kind.
First and foremost, their legal troubles continue to mount as the FBI and other agencies who have been investigating the events continue to haul hundreds of the would-be insurrectionists off to jail.
And then there’s the matter of the actual adjudication of their crimes, with many of the Capitol rioters taking up a position in which they insist that Donald Trump’s goading is the only reason that they committed the acts they committed. Judges around the nation have been quick to shut this narrative down, leading little option but for these individuals to take responsibility for their actions.
Now, on of the most infamous of the trespassers, the “Qanon Shaman”, is dealing with an attorney who is making some of the most profoundly insensitive statements we’ve heard from an attorney in a long, long time…and he’s insulting his own client in the process.
Attorney Albert Watkins gave an interview to Talking Points Memo as the outlet reported on several of the legal arguments that the alleged Capitol rioters have used to address the federal charges they face. One of the tactics it is widely believed their attorneys will use is the “Trump defense” — the argument that the accused rioters were compelled to violent criminal action because of Donald Trump’selection lies and their belief that they were carrying out the former president’s will.
We must warn you: The language ahead is harsh.
Watkins, the “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley’s attorney, said 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.
“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.”
Supporters and opponents of Chansley alike have lamented the fact that Watkins seems wholly unable to perform his litigious duties on account of these statements.