PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — The lawyer of a Delaware man who was charged in the Capitol riot is speaking out. The lawyer for Anthony Antonio says his client was brainwashed by Fox News and President Donald Trump.
Antonio’s lawyer also says his client feels duped.READ MORE: Gunman On Dirt Bike Kills 37-Year-Old Man In West Philadelphia, Police Say
“All that they did was watch Fox TV and get fed misinformation. Prior to that, he had no political aspirations whatsoever or interest. Didn’t know a whole lot about Trump, and as a result of sitting there and getting his mind infected — much like COVID attacks the physicality of a person and their ability to resist — this disease called ‘Trumpitis’ infected him,” attorney Joe Hurley said.
Antonio’s lawyer says his client was advocating for peace and trying to get people not to storm the Capitol, and that he doesn’t belong in jail.
Antonio, his lawyer said, had lost his job at the beginning of the pandemic and for the next six months watched Fox News constantly. Antonio developed what his lawyer called “Foxitis” and “Foxmania,” and believed the lies about the 2020 election from Fox News and then-President Trump.
“He believed what was being fed to him,” Hurley said.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
Many Capitol riot defendants have blamed Trump for their actions, with little legal success. Some judges have also expressed concern about right-wing media outlets continuing to stoke anger amongst Trump supporters.
Antonio is alleged to have shouted threatening statements at police, poured water on an officer being dragged down the Capitol steps, and have gotten hold of a riot shield and gas mask, according to court documents. Antonio then briefly entered the Capitol through a shattered window and tossed around broken furniture, according to court filings.
During an interview with the FBI, Antonio said he had witnessed the assault on DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone. Antonio said he had locked eyes with Fanone, who pleaded with him for help, and that he had seen “death” in Fanone’s eyes.
“I didn’t help him when I should have,” Antonio told the agents. He said he would not be able to get the image of Fanone out of his head.
Antonio is charged with five federal crimes related to the riot, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and destruction of government property. He has not yet entered a plea.MORE NEWS: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
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