Trump lawyers falsely blame 'antifa' for Capitol insurrection

1097

Trump's defense kicked off with a string of lies.

One of Donald Trump's attorneys on Friday falsely blamed antifa for the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, one of the numerous lies and distortions that made up the first minutes of Trump's defense.

"According to publicly available reporting, it is apparent that extremists of various different stripes and political persuasions preplanned and premeditated an attack on the Capitol," Michael T. van der Veen, one of Trump's lawyers, said. "One of the first people arrested was the leader of antifa. Sadly, he was also among the first to be released."

It's unclear who van der Veen was referencing.

However, reporters think it may be John Sullivan, a man who was in the Capitol during the insurrection and incorrectly identified as member of "antifa" and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fact-checkers have asserted that antifa was not behind the insurrection at the Capitol.

Right-wing media and some GOP lawmakers tried to push this baseless lie in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

However, it's become increasingly clear with each arrest made following the Jan. 6 events that the insurrectionists were Trump supporters, many of whom said they engaged in the insurrection at Trump's request.

That was a point driven home by the Democratic impeachment managers during Trump's impeachment trial.

"They were doing what he wanted them to do," Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), one of the impeachment managers, said on Wednesday of the insurrectionists, showing a video of some of the arrested rioters saying they were just following Trump's orders.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.