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Lawyer blames 'Foxmania' for client's participation in Capitol riot

An attorney for Anthony Antonio said this week his client constantly watched Fox News for 6 months and "started believing what was being fed to him."

WASHINGTON — The attorney for an Illinois man who told a far-right website he “penetrated” the Capitol on January 6 says his client’s thinking was warped by too much exposure to Fox News.

Attorney Joseph Hurley says his client, Anthony Antonio, of Naperville, Illinois, had Fox News on “constantly” for six months leading up to the January 6 insurrection.

“He became hooked with what I call ‘Foxitus’ or ‘Foxmania,’” Hurley told a judge, “and started believing what was being fed to him.”

Antonio is accused of being part of the mob that surged against officers in the Lower West Terrace tunnel, and also of entering the building through a broken window. In an interview given to a fair-right, anti-immigration website on January 6, the FBI says Antonio admitted to helping trash an unused office in the Capitol.

“We barricaded the door, broke everything, so we have something to use against ‘em,” Antonio allegedly said.

The FBI says it received nearly a dozen tips about Antonio’s photo, and was eventually able to identify him in part because of TikTok “duets” – side-by-side videos of two users of the social media app.

Investigators said photos Antonio was wearing a tactical bulletproof vest with a 3%ers patch – denoting possible membership in the far-right militia group.

While blaming Fox News is a new legal strategy, it’s not one that’s likely to work. Other defendants who have pointed to former President Donald Trump as an explanation for why they were at the Capitol have met with little success in court so far, including Proud Boy William Chrestman, whose lawyer argued his client had an “official endorsement” from the president.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

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