A lawyer for an accused Capitol rioter says his client had “Foxitis” after watching Fox News often, according to multiple reports.
During a virtual hearing, a lawyer for Anthony Antonio explained that his client began watching Fox News often after he was lost his job at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN.
“He became hooked with what I call ‘Foxitus’ or ‘Foxmania’ and became interested in the political aspect and started believing what was being fed to him,” attorney Joseph Hurley said, according to a HuffPost report.
Fox News and other right-wing media has faced backlash and criticism following the riot due at least, in-part, to their airing of conspiracy theories from Trump and his allies, namely attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, that the 2020 election was stolen.
Fox News is currently facing two multibillion-dollar lawsuits from voting technology companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems over defamation for their airing of false claims relating to their technologies.
Antonio was arrested in Delaware in mid-April and is facing five charges in connection with the riot, including the destruction of government property and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder.
According to an FBI affidavit, he was seen climbing the scaffolding outside of the Capitol, breaking into the building through a tunnel and pouring water on a police officer who was being dragged down a set of stairs.
During the hearing, Hurley said that Antonio believed he was following Trump’s orders to march and thought he was participating in a patriotic movement, according to HuffPost.
Another suspect, Landon Copeland, disrupted the proceedings multiple times, according to the CNN report.
Several Capitol rioters have pointed to Trump as a defense for their actions on Jan. 6. Most notably, an attorney for Anthony Chansley, who went viral in his outlandish fur and bullhorns costume as the “QAnon Shaman,” blamed the former president for Chansley’s involvement.
And attorney Emanuel Jackson, who was arrested for punching a police officer and hitting others with a metal bat, claimed he was “inspired” by Trump.