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A lawyer for the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’ who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 has defended calling other pro-Donald Trump rioters ‘f**king retards.’
Attorney Albert Watkins attempted to justify the slur while discussing his client Jacob Chansley’s case on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show Wednesday.
He said the insult was part of his plan following ‘long standing pleas for compassion and understanding of those involved in the events of January 6 with mental health issues and disabilities have to date fallen on deaf ears’.
Watkins added: ‘For five months I acted professionally. I talked to the people that needed to know. I made sure that the Department of Justice had the opportunity firsthand to meet with my client.
‘Not once, not twice but multiple times. I got nowhere. All I had to do was get vulgar. Get vulgar in a short soundbite-driven quote that permitted this very issue to come to the fore.’
Watkins claimed Chansley’s ‘vulnerable’ mind was poisoned by Trump’s tweets and ‘incessant drivel’ claiming Joe Biden had stolen the 2020 election result from him.
Chansley shot to fame after he was pictured inside the US Capitol shirtless, wearing a horned hat and with red and blue body paint smeared over his face. He was arrested shortly after, and remains in custody on six riot-related charges.
Watkins said Chansley’s mind was ‘slipping away from him’ and claimed that his client’s military records ‘reflect, indicate and demonstrate concern for the mental health and well-being’ of Chansley.
He also claimed Chansley was actually helping police on the day he stormed the Capitol building by collecting items ‘that had been stolen from them’ as well as allegedly stopping a theft.
Jacob Chansley’s attorney Albert Watkins (right) defended calling the rioters ‘on the goddamn spectrum’ in an interview with CNN’s Cuomo (left) on Wednesday while claiming his 33-year-old client’s ‘vulnerable’ mind was poisoned by Trump’s tweets and his ‘incessant drivel’
Jacob Chansley, the self-described QAnon Shaman who was pictured inside the US Capitol wearing a horned hat, is among those awaiting potential prison sentences after being charged over the January 6 riots
The lawyer has been embroiled in controversy after he had described those who attended the siege as ‘people with brain damage’.
Watkins had previously noted that his client, who remains jailed on charges of civil disorder and five other counts, has Asperger’s syndrome.
In an expletive-laden interview with Talking Points Memo, released on Tuesday, Watkins said: ‘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.
‘These are people with brain damage, they’re f***ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum. F**k, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f***ing Hitler.’
Watkins has argued that the comments were part of a ‘calibrated move’ following ‘long standing pleas for compassion and understanding of those involved in the events of January 6 with mental health issues and disabilities have to date fallen on deaf ears’. Self proclaimed QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley is pictured on January 6
Watkins, during that CNN interview, also accused Cuomo of calling his client ‘crazy’.
But in a fiery interview with Cuomo later on Wednesday, Cuomo said he had never made the comments and a transcript would prove it.
Watkins then tripled down on his earlier comments where he had called the MAGA mob ‘f***ing retarded’, saying he was just taking a cue from Cuomo.
Watkins told Cuomo: ‘I should have taken your tack early on. I should have been completely devoid of compassion and patience for our countrymen, those who truly were vulnerable.
‘By pointing that out, by trying to respectfully address the reality that we have people that are vulnerable, mentally infirm, they do have issues.’
Watkins also claimed Chansley’s mental state is poor and he has concerns.
He said: ‘I think his mind is slipping away right now,’ adding: ‘I’ve acquired, from the the government, the military records that correspond to my client, which reflect, indicate and demonstrate concern for the mental health and well-being of my client.’
Watkins noted that his client, who remains jailed on charges of civil disorder and five other counts, has Asperger’s syndrome
The attorney had previously tried to argue that Trump was to blame for Chansley’s actions because he’d dragged him into a web of lies. Trump is pictured at the Save America Rally before rioters stormed the Capitol
Watkins also insisted that we must look at the reality of the Capitol Hill riots – which is, he argues, that the rioters were ‘vulnerable’ and therefore ‘susceptible’ to the words of Trump.
He said: ‘What we all have to look at and the reality is these people, not all of them, a great number of them who walked down Pennsylvania avenue had a vulnerability.
‘And that vulnerability put them in a position of being susceptible. Susceptible to the words, to the actions and this incessant drivel that was being poured upon them out of tweets, out of the White House, out of the mouth of our former president and all of the social media that went with it.’
Watkins then went on to claim that Chansley, instead of being destructive or violent during the riots, had in fact helped police.
‘In the case of Jacob Chansley, he was helping law enforcement garner items that had been stolen from them. Stopping a theft that was going on.’
‘He entered the Capitol,’ interrupted Cuomo. ‘He was flying in there with his spear. He was saying obnoxious things.’
‘No, no,’ replied Watkins. ‘That’s a mischaracterization.’
The attorney had previously tried to argue that Trump was to blame for Chansley’s actions the day he stormed the Capitol carrying a spear draped with an American flag.
He told the judge during a pre-trial hearing in March that Chansley had gone to the Capitol ‘like Forrest Gump’ at Trump’s invitation.
‘We’re not dealing with a man of violence,’ Watkins said.
‘They genuinely believed in the truth of what was being asserted by the highest hired hand in the land, the president.’
He had claimed that Trump had drawn Chansley into a web of lies.
Watkins had argued that Chansley believed police were allowing him and other protesters to enter the Capitol building, which his client later repeated in an interview with 60 Minutes from jail.
The judge later branded Chansley a liar after footage submitted by the prosecution showed him standing atop scaffolding while rioters clashed with police officers below.
He was later filmed walking through a doorway into the Capitol after rioters broke windows.
‘The government’s video shows that defendant blatantly lied during his interview with 60 Minutes+ when he said that police officers waved him into the building,’ the judge wrote.
‘Further, this video confirms that defendant did not, as defense counsel claims, enter the building’ contemporaneously with the exiting by Capitol Police.’ […] Nor did he enter, as defense counsel represents, in the ‘third wave’ of the breach. To the contrary, he quite literally spearheaded it.’
Christopher Kuehne, left, has asked a judge to sever his case from his co-defendants after their lawyer Albert Watkins, right, called the MAGA mob ‘f***ing retarded’
Christopher Kuehne (camouflage helmet with orange tape in black) pictured with other Proud Boys storming the Capitol on January 6
Yesterday, Christopher Kuehne, 47, who is charged over the Capitol right has asked a judge to sever his case from his co-defendants after their laywer Watkins made the controversial comments.
Kuehne was indicted alongside William Chrestman, Louis Enrique Colon and siblings Felicia and Cory Konold in February.
Now Kuehne, a Marine, has called comments by Watkins ‘highly inappropriate and prejudicial’, Law & Crime reports.
Kuehne’s lawyer, Marina Medvin, argues his ‘trial rights are prejudiced by the joinder of his case with codefendants who are represented by a counselor who has made highly inappropriate and prejudicial statements’.
Kuehne’s lawyer, Marina Medvin, argues his ‘trial rights are prejudiced by the joinder of his case with codefendants who are represented by a counselor who has made highly inappropriate and prejudicial statements’
Christopher Kuehne (camouflage helmet with orange tape in black) pictured with other Proud Boys storming the Capitol on January 6. Kuehne’s motion argues: ‘Unlike his co-defendants, Mr. Kuehne’s defense strategy does not include self-degradation, nor an insanity plea’
Those comments ‘directly impact and prejudice Mr. Kuehne’s right to a fair trial’, Medvin claims, adding: ‘Therefore, Mr. Kuehne invokes his right for relief, seeking severance.’
Kuehne’s motion argues: ‘Unlike his co-defendants, Mr. Kuehne’s defense strategy does not include self-degradation, nor an insanity plea.
‘A joint trial also poses a serious risk that the jury will be compromised in making a reliable judgment about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Kuehne after co-defendants’ counsel has demeaned his mental abilities publicly and has previewed how he plans to present his clients’ defense moving forward. A joint jury trial under such conditions for Mr. Kuehne is inherently unfair.
‘Unlike his co-defendants, Mr. Kuehne is not willing to throw in the towel, nor to throw an entire political party under the bus through cheap ‘Nazi’ comparisons.’
Kuehne faces charges including conspiracy and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.