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Self-styled 'QAnon shaman' is sentenced to 41 months in Capitol riot

17November 2021

Jacob Chansley, the self-styled “QAnon shaman,” confronts U.S. Capitol Police officers during the January 6 insurrection.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jacob Chansley, the self-styled “QAnon shaman” who became one of the faces of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after storming the building in a horned, fur headdress, has been sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison for his role in the riot.

Photographs of a bare-chested Chansley, carrying a bullhorn and a spear adorned with the American flag while howling in halls of the Capitol, became some of the iconic images of that violent, chaotic day.

At a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison, although he will be given credit for the roughly 10 months he’s already served.

“You didn’t slug anybody, but what you did here was actually obstruct the functioning of the whole government,” Lamberth said. “You know what you did was wrong. I admire you for being able to come to terms.”

The Justice Department says Chansley was among the first 30 rioters to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6 as the crowd of Donald Trump supporters overwhelmed police, bashed in windows and pushed into the building. The mob forced lawmakers to flee and temporarily abandon their certification of Joe Biden’s election win.

Chansley was arrested days later and indicted on six charges, two of which were felonies. He ultimately struck a plea deal with the government and pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Chansley, who has been in custody since his arrest, spoke for around 40 minutes at Wednesday’s hearing. He said he’s spent much of his time in lockup reflecting on his life and his actions on Jan. 6.

“Men of honor admit when they’re wrong. Not just publicly but to themselves,” he said. “I was wrong for entering the Capitol. I have no excuse. No excuse whatsoever. The behavior is indefensible.”

He admitted that he was guilty, but he also said he’s not a “dangerous criminal.”

“I am not a violent man. I am not an insurrectionist. I am certainly not a domestic terrorist,” Chansley told the court. “I am a good man who broke the law. And I’m doing everything I can to take responsibility for that.”

Chansley said he’s struggled with being locked up for the past 10 months or so, and he said he’s learned his lesson.

“I will never reoffend again,” he said. “And I will always, from here on forward, think about the ramifications of everything that I do and what it is I say and how it will be perceived.”

Before announcing his sentence, Judge Lamberth told Chansley he believes he is genuine and that his remorse is heartfelt, but he also told him “what you did was terrible.”

The sentenced handed down was less than the 51 months the Justice Department had recommended for Chansley, whom prosecutors said was “the public face of the Capitol riot.”

“The government cannot overstate the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct as one of the most prominent figures of the historic riot on the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021,” prosecutors said in their sentencing memo.

According to court papers, once inside the building, Chansley made his way up the Senate gallery, using his bullhorn to rile up other rioters. He entered the gallery, screaming obscenities, then proceeded down to the floor of the Senate, where he scaled the dais.

After a police officer asked him to leave, Chansley refused and said: “Mike Pence is a f****** traitor.” On the desk at the dais, Chansley scrawled a note on a piece of paper that read: “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!”

Court papers say Chansley also led rioters in an incantation over his bullhorn, which he concluded with the words: “Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”

Chansley was arrested on Jan. 9 after driving home from Washington, D.C. to Phoenix, Arizona. He’s remained in custody since his arrest.

Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, acknowledged that Chansley has emerged, for many, as the face of the insurrection. But he argued that Chansley has tried to cooperate, noting his surrender to federal authorities as well as his guilty plea, and asked for a sentence of time served.

This post was originally published on this site

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