As rioters stormed the Capitol last week causing unrest in Washington DC, many Trump supporters stopped to pose for pictures despite the threat of legal action.
Adam Johnson’s photo is arguably the most infamous; the MAGA supporter was captured with a gleeful grin while stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. The photo quickly led to the Florida native’s arrest yet his lawyers are claiming that he is in fact “pro-law enforcement.”
Johnson, 36, was released on bail after being charged with trespassing, theft, and violent entry, and disorderly conduct. Despite the charges, his attorneys argue that he merely wanted to “witness a little bit of history” when he trespassed Capitol’s Statuary Hall on 6 January. The looting, however, they describe as an “anomaly."
Appearing on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on Monday night, Johnson’s attorneys David Bigney and Dan Eckhart attempted to defend their client — even with the incriminating photo evidence.
When asked by presenter Chris Cuomo why Johnson deserved their help, Eckhart urged people to “not judge a book by its cover.”
“You’ve got the photos and a lot of things on social media where they’re demonizing Mr. Johnson. It is really a mischaracterisation,” said Eckhart.
“He is a family man,” he added in Johnson’s defense. “His wife is a physician. He has five children. There is nothing in his background or his past that would attribute any type of violence or this type of rebellious behavior to him. It is an anomaly, an unusual situation for him.”
Cuomo was quick to react that Johnson “obviously” did it and condemned him for joining those who were trying to “target members of congress.”
“He was in there with a pack of savages who were trying to find and target members of Congress and do terrible things. Did terrible things,” said a passionate Cuomo. “He is smiling his ass off while he takes a lectern. What is any rationale for him not being guilty?”
Bizarrely, Johnson’s lawyer’s continued to deny their client’s wrong-doing claiming there was a “big difference between him and the people that actually broke into the U.S. Capitol.” They maintain he wasn’t there for any “destruction” although he stole the lectern.
Cuomo urged the defense attorneys to acknowledged that many people may have felt “emboldened by what happened on Wednesday.”
Similarly, many angry commenters believe the “smug” photo represents the “lawlessness” of the rioters who appeared to not fear the repercussions of the insurrection.
As one person tweeted, “It is really disturbing how brazen these vandals were.”
Adam Johnson was released from Tampa, Florida jail earlier this week .