Lawyer for suspect in mob boss murder cites White House rhetoric

A lawyer for the man charged with murdering an alleged mob boss in Staten Island argued his client was influenced by rhetoric emanating from the White House and online conspiracy theories, according to the New York Daily News.

“Hate words that have been spewed by citizens, including politicians, including right at the White House, those words matter, and they have an effect,” Robert Gottlieb, an attorney for Anthony Comello, told reporters Monday after a court hearing.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

“All of the reasons for what happened will be shown to be tied to the hate, to the words that are so easily obtainable on the internet,” Gottlieb added. “Why it’s connected, how it’s connected, I simply ask everyone to wait till all the evidence is in.”

Comello was arrested and charged this month with murdering Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family. In his first court appearance last week he displayed pro-Trump messages written on his palms.

“I don’t think I’m being cryptic, nor do I think what was on his hands was cryptic in any way,” Gottlieb told reporters on Monday. He added that his client will plead “unequivocally not guilty.”