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Lawyers use belief in Trump far-right conspiracy theories for murder suspect’s insanity defense

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In the age of Trump, far-right conspiracy theories have gripped a large section of his base, birthing one of the most convoluted and bizarre rumors to date, namely the QAnon conspiracy theory — which details a complicated and sometimes nonsensical plot by the “Deep State” against Trump and his supporters.

While most people regurgitate this particular brand of paranoia from behind their keyboards, some have been driven to commit acts of violence after being radicalized online, one example being a 29-year-old North Carolina man whose belief in “Pizza Gate” prompted him to walk into a D.C. pizzeria in 2016 and open fire with an assault weapon, believing he was rescuing children held hostage by a Hillary Clinton-run child sex trafficking ring.

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Another example is 25-year-old Anthony Comello, who killed mob underboss Francesco (Franky Boy) Cali of the Gambino crime family. While the murder may have looked like just another mob world hit, it turns out that Comello thought Cali was part of the Deep State and targeted him with the intent of turning him over to the military. During one court appearance after his arrest, Comello flashed a large “Q” that was drawn on the palm of his hand, signifying his belief in QAnon.

Now, as The New York Times reports, Comello’s lawyers are using his belief in QAnon to argue that he’s legally insane.

“He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss in the Gambino crime family, was a prominent member of the deep state, and, accordingly, an appropriate target for a citizen’s arrest,” Comello’s lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, wrote back in July.

“Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support,” Gottlieb added.

Read The New York Times’ full report on Comello’s insanity case here.

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2020 Election

Democrats have a powerful case against Trump — but they keep making a key mistake

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On the floor of the Senate, House impeachment managers have delivered a thorough, factual and compelling case for removing President Donald Trump from office. He abused his power by using his office to induce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations of his political enemies, and then he obstructed Congress in its efforts to uncover the details of this scheme.

The managers’ ability to present the evidence for these charges for hours on end has been impressive, and they’re earning plaudits for their furtive efforts, even though removal of the president remains supremely unlikely.

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Internet cheers as Val Demings lays out President Donald Trump’s wrongdoing in powerful speech

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On the third night of the impeachment trial, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) stood up and forcefully laid out President Donald Trump's misconduct in Ukraine on the floor of the Senate.

Demings, a former police chief and a longtime voice for the president's removal, was roundly cheered on by commenters on Twitter:

I had never heard of Rep. Val Demings of Florida, until now on @NPR, but man, #valdemings for President. She was fantastic. Excellent speech. @RepValDemings #impeachment

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Even Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan agrees the Senate must call witnesses

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In a Thursday evening column, far-right commentator Peggy Noonan agreed that there should be witnesses called in the impeachment trial.

CNN capitol correspondent Manu Raju reported late in the evening that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was leaning against calling witnesses because it would be opposed by the White House and they will fight it at all costs.

The comments drew anger from CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin and former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who explained this is exactly what President Donald Trump wants.

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