Tuesday, November 30

Disguised US Capitol troublemaker Jacob Chansley jailed for 41 months

Jacob Chansley, the January 6 spear-wielding troublemaker whose horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint made him one of the most recognizable figures in the assault on the U.S. Capitol, was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months. from prison.

Chansley, who pleaded guilty to a felony obstructing official procedure, was one of the first rioters to enter the building. He acknowledged using a megaphone to irritate the mob, offering thanks in a prayer while in the Senate for having the opportunity to get rid of the traitors and crossing out a threatening note for Vice President Mike Pence saying, “It’s just a matter.” of time. Justice is coming! “

Although he is not charged with violence, prosecutors say Chansley of Arizona was the “public face of the Capitol riots” who entered the attack with a weapon, ignored repeated police orders to leave the building, and gloated over his actions in the days immediately after the attack.

Before being sentenced, Chansley told US District Judge Royce Lamberth that it was wrong for him to enter the Capitol and that he accepted responsibility for his actions. He stressed that he was not an insurgent and is concerned about the way he was portrayed in the news after the riots.

“I have no excuse,” said Chansley. “No excuses of any kind. My behavior is indefensible.”

The judge said Chansley’s remorse appeared to be genuine, but noted the seriousness of his actions on Capitol Hill.

“What you did was terrible,” Lamberth said. “You became the center of the revolt.”

The image of Chansley holding a flagpole topped with a spearhead and looking like he was howling was one of the most shocking to emerge from the riot. He previously called himself the “QAnon Shaman” but has since repudiated the QAnon movement, which centers on the unfounded belief that former President Donald Trump was fighting a clique of Satan-worshiping child sex trafficking cannibals. .

He is one of 650 people charged in the riot that forced lawmakers into hiding as they gathered to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. More than 120 defendants have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors for demonstrating on Capitol Hill that carry a maximum of six months in prison.

Chansley and Scott Fairlamb, a New Jersey gym owner sentenced last week for beating a police officer during the attack, have received the longest prison sentences of the 38 accused of Capitol disturbances who have been punished. up to now.

Chansley, who has been in jail for 10 months, sought to be sentenced to time served. His attorney, Albert Watkins, said his client has long-standing mental health issues that were made worse by being held in solitary confinement due to COVID-19 protocols and is in dire need of mental health treatment.

A year before the Capitol riots, Chansley appeared in disguise at pro-Trump events, protests over face mask requirements, and at a November 2020 gathering of Trump supporters outside an election office in downtown Phoenix, where the votes of the presidential race were counted.

His attorney has said that Chansley was “terribly in love” with Trump and believed, like other rioters, that Trump had called him to the Capitol, but later felt betrayed after Trump refused to grant a pardon to him and others who participated in the insurrection.

Watkins has said that Chansley had been under pressure from family members not to plead guilty because they believed Trump would be reinstated as president and pardon him.

After spending his first month in jail, Chansley said he reassessed his life, regretted breaking into the building, and apologized for causing fear in others.

On two occasions, he stopped eating while in jail and lost 20 pounds (9 kilograms) until he was given organic food.

The judge had previously rejected Chansley’s claims that the six-foot flagpole he carried during the riot was not a weapon and that the metal spearhead was an ornament, saying that the six-inch sharp point could have been used to stab people from a distance. .


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