Who is Albert Watkins? QAnon Shaman lawyer says client, Capitol rioters 'retarded' or on 'goddamn spectrum'
'A lot of these defendants -- and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully -- but they’re all f***ing short-bus people,' Watkins said, adding, 'These are people with brain damage, they’re f***ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum'
Lawyer Albert Watkins has courted controversy again. This time, it’s because of derogatory comments denigrating the mentally disabled by using "colloquial" terms. Watkins claimed that his client Jacob A Chansley (also known as Jake Angeli and "QAnon Shaman") was following former president Donald Trump's invitation when he stormed the US Capitol on January 6. He also said that a lot of the rioters are “retarded” and on the “goddamn spectrum”.
Watkins made these comments in an interview with Talking Points Memo, a news and opinion website. Watkins said his client had Asperger’s syndrome and indicated that Chansley’s mental state would play a role in his case.
“A lot of these defendants -- and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully -- but they’re all f***ing short-bus people,” Watkins told TPM. “These are people with brain damage, they’re f***ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”
“But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers -- they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have [any] prior criminal history. F***, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f***ing Hitler.”
Who is Albert Watkins?
The St Louis-based lawyer, as per his firm’s website, is, “quite candidly, beyond description”. His website calls the managing partner of Kodner Watkins “self-centered, egotistical, and a self-proclaimed expert in all matters,” adding that the attorney is “unabashed about bringing to the public eye the irreconcilable nature of a position taken by an adversary in a case”.
In State of Missouri v. James Strughold, Watkins “successfully defended a white elementary school principal accused of felonious sexual misconduct involving ten African American third-grade students,” the website claims, adding that the principal was fully acquitted of all charges following two full jury trials.
Watkins, his firm's website claims, is also known for his “outside of the box” handling of matters, including a request for a “toasted ravioli smackdown” as a means by which to settle a case. Watkins also supposedly hosts his own nationally syndicated radio vignette, an eight-minute show aptly called ‘Watkins Word’.
“Jacob Chansley and millions of other Americans, for a host of reasons, became enchanted with Donald Trump, who they felt for the first time in their lives, like their voices were being heard, that they were relevant, that they were not simply ‘flyover people.’ And with that feeling came that same type of internal euphoria that you get with your first love,” he had said in an earlier interview.
Watkins had also earlier appeared on CNN and suggested that Trump pardon Chansley before leaving office, calling it the “honorable thing” to do since Chansley, and others, came to DC at Trump’s request.
Watkins also defended Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St Louis couple who gained instant notoriety after a video of them waving and pointing guns at Black Lives Matter demonstrators from the front yard of their St Louis mansion spread across the Internet. The two later spoke at the Republican National Convention.
Chris Hinckley, Chief Warrant Officer in the Circuit Attorney's Office in St Louis had reportedly mentioned Watkins in a series of emails and a voicemail to the lead police detective on the case. A prominent excerpt from those conversations was: “That guy [Watkins] is a slime ball, by many accounts.”