The Svengali Defense

The Big Lie Defendants

A massive number of Trump attorneys, advisors, Proud Boys, phony delegates, and other officials are charged in the January 6th plot to attack the Capitol and overthrow the 2020 Electoral College vote count. Many defendants have agreed to plea deals, exchanging their testimony for lenient sentencing. Their testimony will be used against the former president. What of the remaining defendants? What defense could they give to excuse their acts?

The Svengali Defense

In the fiction novel Trilby by George du Maurier in 1894, Svengali is the controlling hypnotic mentor of a young innocent singer, Trillby. The name Svengali has come to refer to an authority figure or mentor who exerts powerful and evil influence over others for their gain. Defense lawyers sometimes use the Svengali Defense to describe their clients as victims manipulated by a powerful individual. “Big Lie Defendants,” like some lower-level conspirators who have already been convicted, could claim that Trump exerted undue influence over them, clouding their judgment. While a very long shot, the Svengali Defense gives just a little additional support to “Big Lie Defendants,” who will also be using the excuse given at the Nuremberg Trials- ‘I was just following orders.’








Thanks, and a tip of the hat to Warner Bros/Vitaphone https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35246136 for the image.

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