News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Controversial remarks by 'QAnon shaman' lawyer; progressive district attorney wins primary

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U.S. Capitol building

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Lawyer for ‘QAnon shaman’ says rioters are ‘short-bus people’

Albert Watkins, the lawyer for the accused U.S. Capitol Hill rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman,” told Talking Points Memo that a lot of the rioting defendants are “short-bus people.” Watkins said the defendants are people with “brain damage, they’re f- - -ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum,” he said. But he added that the defendants are “our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our co-workers,” and they were “subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f- - -ing Hitler.” Watkins later acknowledged that his comments were vulgar and inappropriate but said they were calculated to draw attention to the mental health and disabilities of those accused in the attacks. Watkins said his client, Jacob Chansley, is on the autism spectrum. (Talking Points Memo, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hill)

Progressive Philadelphia district attorney defeats primary challenger

Reform-minded district attorney Larry Krasner of Philadelphia defeated his primary challenger, longtime homicide prosecutor Carlos Vega, in Tuesday’s primary election. Krasner won, despite a 40% increase in murders in Philadelphia last year—a statistic that he attributed to a trend that happened even in cities with more traditional prosecutors. Krasner had fired Vega when he took over the district attorney’s office in 2018. Vega’s age discrimination suit against Krasner is still pending. (The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer)

Giuliani attacks search of his home, office and iCloud account

Lawyer Rudy Giuliani is asking a Manhattan federal judge in New York City to address the legality of the government’s search of his home, office and iCloud account. Lawyers for Giuliani said the government “chose to treat a distinguished lawyer as if he was the head of a drug cartel or a terrorist, in order to create maximum prejudicial coverage of both Giuliani and his most well-known client—the former president of the United States.” The lawyers want to look at the seized materials before a special master is appointed for a review that determines which documents must be withheld from the government because of attorney-client privilege. (Law.com, Law360, the New York Times)

Biden takes step to revive DOJ’s access-to-justice office

President Joe Biden issued an executive order Tuesday that is a first step in reviving the Department of Justice’s access-to-justice office. Biden directed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to develop a plan to expand the DOJ’s work on access-to-justice issues. (Bloomberg Law, Reuters, Biden’s order, White House fact sheet)

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