The lawyer for an accused Capitol rioter has blamed the news media and “crowd hysteria” for his client’s actions.
“He got taken!” an attorney for Doug Jensen, 41, told a judge on Thursday, according to NBC4’s Scott MacFarlane.
Mr Jensen, 41, was arrested by the FBI in Des Moines, Iowa a few days after the 6 January attack on the United States Capitol. Dramatic video footage showed him chasing Capitol Police OfficerEugene Goodman up a flight of stairs, leading a mob dangerously close to the Senate chamber before Mr Goodman lured them in a different direction.
On Thursday, Mr Jensen’s lawyer sought to have him released from jail, calling his client an “intelligent man” who was manipulated by misinformation online and in the news media. Somewhat incongruously, he also said Mr Jensen didn’t know where he was on the day of the riot.
“He thought he was at the White House,” the attorney said.
The judge did not immediately rule on whether he would be released.
Mr Jensen was a believer in QAnon, a delusional conspiracy theory that Donald Trump was secretly battling a Democratic child sex trafficking ring. Mr Jensen’s lawyers have previously blamed that theory for his actions as well, saying he “fell victim” to “a pack of lies”.
On the day of the riot, Mr Jensen was wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with a large Q and the phrase “Trust The Plan”, a reference to QAnon.
His older brother, William Routh, has also attributed his brother’s actions to his belief in the conspiracy theory.
“I feel like he had a lot of influence from the Internet that confused or obscured his views on certain things,” Mr Routh said in January. “When I talked to him, he thought that maybe this was Trump telling him what to do.”
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection to the 6 January attack, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday.
“I assure the American people that the Department of Justice will continue to follow the facts in this case and charge what the evidence supports to hold all January 6th perpetrators accountable,” Mr Garland said in a statement.
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