Lawyers representing MAGA rioter Philip Weisbecker are pleading for leniency for their client on the grounds that he "stood no chance at truly grasping reality" when he stormed the United States Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.
In a court filing flagged by CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, Weisbecker's attorneys placed blame on Trump campaign officials who knew that the election had not been stolen from the twice-impeached former president, but nonetheless remained silent as he continued to spread false claims.
"When these people failed to correct the narrative, it left a huge informational void that was filled with the likes of conspiracy theorists, online extremists and Trump loyalists willing to manipulate public opinion for their own purposes," the attorneys write.
As a result, they continued, Weisbecker "stood no chance at truly grasping the gravity or reality of the situation" and urged the court to take into account "the enormous influence the President, the media, and the lack of accurate and truthful information played in the months leading up to January 6, 2021."
Revelations that Trump loyalists knew that he legitimately lost the 2020 election came after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riots showed video testimony of Trump campaign officials Bill Stepien and Jason Miller, as well as former Attorney General Bill Barr, shooting down conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of the vote.
Weisbecker pleaded guilty this past March to one misdemeanor count of parading or demonstrating in the Capitol. He faces a maximum of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
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