‘Torture is not ok!’ Capitol riot lawyer goes off when CNN host wants no part of inmate mistreatment talk

An interview with attorney Joseph McBride, who represents Capitol protester Richard Barnett, was said to have gone off the rails, but given the actions of CNN anchor John Avlon, that appeared to be the planned destination all along,

Filling in as a New Day co-host, Avlon had a remarkable exchange with the lawyer in the sense that it was almost the exact replay of the left’s argument about the treatment of prisoners, except Avlon was now spouting the conservative argument, replacing conviction with a smirk.

Yet, looking past CNN’s intended propaganda sell of an insurrection, the interview produced some valuable information — coming from McBride, of course. His client is the man who was photographed seated behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, which may help explain Avlon’s sullen disposition.

In discussing the 8-month sentence of another protester, Paul Hodgkins, McBride explained that there “appears to be three categories of defendants who will be sentenced.”

“You have the misdemeanor trespasser or illegal protester, you have an individual like Mr. Hodgkins, who made it into the Senate chamber, into the holy of holies, during that time, during that sacred event, and then you have people who conspired to be violent and/or were violent that day,” he said. “Obviously those people have not been sentenced yet.”


Explaining that while Hodgkins made it into the Senate chambers, McBride said his client did not.

“He was also not violent that day, so in terms of analyzing it, where he might come out on this, if an appropriate offer were to be made, it would have to be something in the realm of misdemeanor protest, trespassing with probation,” he said.

Avlon struggled to contain himself as he scoffed at the notion, reminding his guest that Barnett did make into Pelosi’s office. He explained that as part of Hodgkin’s plea deal, he expressed remorse and recognized Joe Biden as the President of the United States, asking McBride if his client would acknowledge the same.

“My client believes that his actions were protected by the First Amendment of the United States,” McBride stated, after declining to comment on his client’s mindset. “That he showed up to peacefully protest, to petition this government for a redress along with throngs of other citizens. We all know what happened that day—”

“Just so I’m clear,” Avlon interjected, before distorting what McBride said. “Are you saying that attacking the Capitol is, according to yourself and your client, an extension of First Amendment rights?”

McBride then made an important distinction between those arrested for being at the Capitol that day, a distinction that runs counter to the media narrative of referring to them all as “insurrectionists.”

“No, I’m saying that there are people who showed up to attack the Capitol, there are people who showed up to protest, and there are people who showed up to protest that got involved with the greater events of that day,” the lawyer said. “And it is very important not to lump everybody in, not to define every protester that showed up that day as an insurrectionist — which, by the way, no one has been charged with.”

“My client has not been charged with insurrection. My client was not violent that day. My client showed up to protest,” McBride added. “Mr. Barnett has no criminal record, showed up to protest peacefully, ended up in the office that day. That does not equivocate to an attack on democracy.”

Disagreeing with the nonviolent assertion, Avlon then shifted focus to an LinkedIn essay McBride wrote that referenced Nazi Germany in saying the federal government “is targeting anyone who dares criticize the decision-making process, questions its motives, or challenges its legitimacy.”

A host on a network that aired Nazi references for four years under Trump proceeds to tell McBride that such comparisons “are usually a sign you have lost the argument.”

The attorney tried to avoid bringing Nazis into the discussion, but Avlon was set on using it to undermine him and would have none of it.

“Fair enough,” McBride said, jumping in with both feet. “Like the Nazis, like the Soviets in the gulag, innocent men and women are being held in what we’re calling DC Guantanamo Bay, pretrial, absent any finding of fact. They’re being held for hundreds of days in solitary confinement, they’re being beaten, they’re being starved, they’re denied medical care, they’re being denied the right to worship, they’re being cut off from their attorneys.”

Smirking throughout the serious allegations, it was clear that Avlon did not believe McBride. He asked the attorney if he his client had been denied communicating with him and McBride informed him that Barnett has been released from prison.

Not only did the CNN anchor run interference for the Biden administration, he began an inquisition targeting his guest.

“These sentences and the decision of the Biden Justice Department not to charge insurrection would indicate this is nothing resembling anything involving Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, obviously,” Avlon said. “But to belabor that point, if you went on a Russian television station to plead this case and make this point, do you think if an attacker broke into the Kremlin and sat at Vladimir Putin’s desk he’d be treated better or worse than your client’s been treated after attacking the Speaker of the House’s office?”

“If the media and the United States government does not want to hold itself accountable for the human rights violations that are taking place at DC Guantanamo Bay, then who better to hold us accountable than the inventors of the gulag themselves?” McBride responded.

He went on to say that people are being “tortured,” repeating the claim multiple times. Avlon asked for examples.

“Are you okay with people being tortured five miles from the White House right now?” McBride pressed.

“Pardon me? You’re saying people are being tortured by the White House?” Avlon shot back, misrepresenting what the attorney said. “I just want to be clear because that’s an extraordinary statement that would seem to be utterly unbased in fact.”

Throwing all pretense of impartiality aside, he continued putting McBride on trial.

“Do you think people should be held accountable for attacking the Capitol and trying to overturn the elections?” he said, before bringing violence toward Capitol police into the discussion, asking McBride if he was bothered by that.

“Are you okay with torture? Are you okay with what the ACLU has called out? Solitary confinement is torture,” McBride fired back. “Answer that question for me, good sir. Are you okay with pretrial detainees being tortured?”

Keep in mind, that the left has long proposed that solitary confinement is torture — it’s a certainty that the number of instances of this being said on CNN over the years are too numerous to count.

As the segment came to an end, the 2020 election results came up and Avlon tried his best to get McBride to say that he and his client still dispute the results, to no avail.

“You know what it sounds like? It sounds like you and your client still believe the big lie,” he shamelessly remarked, before insulting McBride in bringing the segment to a close.

“Torture is not okay,” McBride interjected.

“Keep yelling torture, we’ll stick with the facts. Thank you very much,” the CNN host replied.


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