Lindsey Graham Thinks QAnon Shaman Too Undignified For Trump's Impeachment Trial
Earlier this week, Al Watkins, the lawyer representing Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, aka the QAnon Shaman, put out the word that his client would be willing to testify against Donald Trump in his impeachment trial.
As you may recall, Watkins is preparing a "Trump Made Him Do It" Nuremberg defense for Chansley, claiming that the only reason he committed all of the crimes he did during the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th was because he thought he was just following orders from Donald Trump and was therefore not responsible for his actions. It is, of course, not actually legal to commit crimes because you were just following orders — just ask the Manson family, David Berkowitz or any mob enforcers you happen to know.
Watkins had previously asked Trump to pardon his client, which did not end up happening, and he is now very salty about it.
According to Watkins, his client is now willing to testify on "whether the words of former President Trump were understood by Mr. Chansley to be nothing short of an invitation to go to the Capitol with the President to fight like hell." He argues that "[i]f the pending Article of Impeachment has merit, the voice of Mr. Chansley, and the voice of others in like position, must be heard and believed."
It seems like a pretty good idea. If we're going to say that Trump encouraged the insurrection, we absolutely should hear from people who felt they were following his orders.
You know who doesn't think it would be a good idea though? Lindsey Graham. He thinks it would just turn the whole thing into a circus.
The House impeached President Trump without a witness. If we open the witness door in the Senate there will be l… https://t.co/iomf3xO82U— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham)1611953479.0
I would argue that very few people demonstrate what love of Trump does to people better than the QAnon Shaman. Does the senator from South Carolina suggesting that the Qanon Shaman is somehow less dignified than Donald Trump? I don't think so. Sure. Jacob Chansley is a shirtless weirdo running around in a viking hat screaming about how Democrats are eating babies, but Trump is the one who reeled people like him in and told them to go to the Capitol and convince Republican legislators to overturn the election for him. That's not better than being a shirtless weirdo running around in a viking hat screaming about how Democrats are eating babies.
Of course, Graham then followed that up by saying there should be no witnesses at all because if you let the QAnon Shaman guy testify, then everyone's gonna wanna testify and the trial will just never end. That seems unlikely, but perhaps it might be helpful for Lindsey Graham to see what he hath wrought. A little "Christmas Carol" type scenario where he can see just some of the actual damage the man he stood by for four years caused to this country. To see that telling people the election was stolen when it wasn't actually has real world consequences — consequences that, in this case, led to the deaths of several people and to many of Trump's most devoted acolytes winding up committing crimes for him that will lead to prison sentences.
Of course, it is unlikely that Graham has enough self-awareness to come to the right conclusion there, so maybe it's better to get it over with sooner than later.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse