Former President Donald Trump’s defense group took the floor on day 4 of his 2nd impeachment trial on Friday, and right out of the gate, lawyer Mark Van der Veen was raising eyebrows.
Democratic Home impeachment managers argued today that those who ransacked the Capitol on January 6 did so at Trump’s instructions. As Van der Veen made his method through a series of defenses in his opening remarks, he said that Antifa, a regular scapegoat for violence connected with Trump fans, was associated with the attack.
Refuting Democrats’ claims that the attack on the Capitol was stimulated by Trump, defense lawyer for Trump insisted the attacks were pre-planned by agitators of varying political affiliations.
According to Van der Veen, that consisted of members of Antifa, the decentralized left-wing protest motion.
” Among the first individuals jailed was a leader of Antifa,” Van der Veen said.
Before the dust could settle in the wake of the riot, right-wing media and conspiracy theorists started launching accusations of the riots being a hoax staged by Antifa. This was quickly disproved as the identities of those captured on camera surfaced and showed the supposed rioters were supporters of Trump, QAnon and members of extremist conservative groups like the Proud Boys.
One of those recommended as having Antifa ties was a Utah man called John Sullivan, who was one of the more than 200 people arrested and charged after the assault on the Capitol. A self-declared activist, Sullivan filmed 90 minutes of the turmoil, including the viral video footage of QAnon member Ashli Babbitt being shot by guards. Babbitt later died.
Sullivan, however, likewise declared he was a journalist, but detectives later on discovered he was an active individual in the riots. The Intercept reported that organizers have knocked Sullivan and said he was considered unsuited for membership in their efforts months prior to the attacks.
While Sullivan had a since-deleted Twitter identity as @ActivistJohn, his own video makes it clear that he was triggered for pro-Trump violence on January 6.
None of the 230 people detained for alleged participation in the Capitol attacks were linked to any left-wing movement. There is no proof that Sullivan was a member of Antifa, Black Lives Matter or any other left-leaning group, especially a “leader” of Antifa.
Agent Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), among Trump’s a lot of devoted allies, felt it prudent to speak up versus the Antifa angle.
” Some state the riots were triggered by Antifa,” McCarthy stated Wednesday. “There is absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to state so.”