The lawyer representing QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley compared former president Donald Trump to cult leader Jim Jones.
As defense attorney Albert Watkins insisted when he spoke with Chris Cuomo of CNN, his client and millions of other Americans were let down by the actions of the 45th US president.
According to Watkins, who is representing Chansley on six federal charges, Trump should be held accountable for the violence at the Capitol because of his “non-stop propaganda.”
Likening the former president to Jim Jones, the cult leader who organized a mass suicide back in 1978, the attorney suggested it will take time for Americans to “unwind from years of Trump, years of lies.”
“One of the things that you missed out and others have missed out on is the propaganda,” Watkins said.
“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.”
Speaking of Trump supporters, he added that “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.”
When Cuomo challenged the attorney to reveal where his client’s beliefs stand now and whether Chansley still believes in Trump’s election fraud narrative, Watkins responded by suggesting changes will take time.
“So this is a process. The answer is yes. The process, though, is not something that Jake is going through alone. The process of unwinding from years of Trump, years of lies,” he added.
The attorney also went on to say that he would “liken the entire thing to 1978 and Jim Jones down in Guyana” after the CNN host suggested he was making it sound as if the avid Trump supporter was getting “de-programmed from a cult.”
“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,” Watkins expressed.
“It’s a process that’s going to require patience and compassion. 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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