The “QAnon Shaman” was sentenced to one of the toughest jail terms ever for a Capitol rioter on Wednesday.
Jacob Chansley, 33, was sentenced to 41 months in jail after pleading guilty to various offenses relating to the disturbances. He assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6 with a spear and bullhorn while wearing a horned headgear made of coyote skin.
During the hearing, Chansley begged Judge Royce C. Lamberth for mercy, claiming that although he had broken the law, he had learned his lesson through his time in prison and solitary confinement.
“Men of honor admit when they’re wrong… I was wrong for entering the Capitol. I have no excuse, no excuse whatsoever,” Chansley said on Wednesday, before insisting that he is not an “insurrectionist or a domestic terrorist.” “I am a good man who broke the law.”
Chansley referenced Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Stephen King’s prison picture The Shawshank Redemption, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his roughly 45-minute meandering plea before the court to say he has changed since the Jan. 6 siege.
A lawyer for Chansley said the world hasn’t seen “propaganda” as it has in the four years since Adolf Hitler.
Chansley was charged with unlawfully entering or staying in any prohibited building or grounds, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Chansley has Asperger’s syndrome, according to his attorney, Albert Watkins, who claims that his client’s emotional state and the impact of former President Trump’s “propaganda” activities play a role in his situation.
“A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all f—ing short-bus people. … These are people with brain damage, they’re f—ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum,” Watkins said.
“But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers — they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have a prior criminal history. F—, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f—— Hitler,” he added.
Watkins defended his remarks, claiming that there was a “reason and intent” behind his “less than politically correct portrayal” of those who took part in a “visit” to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Watkins said that his description matched “many” of those who took part in the day’s activities.
“One charged, insensitive, and vulgar statement was all that was required to garner the needed attention to this important aspect of the January 6 defendants,” Watkins wrote.
He said his pleas for “compassion and understanding” for the people involved in the events on Jan. 6 who have mental health issues and disabilities “have to date fallen on deaf ears.”
Chansley, one of Trump’s most visible backers who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, has attempted to blame the former president for energizing and persuading his supporters to enter the Capitol in an effort to undermine the Electoral College certification process.
In court documents, Watkins wrote that Chansley was consistent “in his assertion that but for the actions and the words of the President, he would not have appeared in Washington, DC to support the President and, but for the specific words of the then-President during his January 6, 2021 speech, the Defendant would not have walked down Pennsylvania Avenue and would not have gone into the U.S. Capitol Building.”
Watkins doubled down stating that there will “necessarily be a legal compulsion” to discuss Trump’s purported involvement in the case.
“Legally, these are unprecedented cases… And as a result, while the judge may not be compelled to emotionally embrace, as a matter of opinion, the effect or the impact of the words and actions of the former President as being a cause, there is going to necessarily be a legal compulsion to address that reality as part of an evaluation of culpability,” Watkins said.
However, a federal judge argued in March that Chansley’s argument that Trump was responsible for his alleged unlawful entry into the Capitol demonstrated that he had no regrets for his conduct. Chansley was ordered to remain in custody until his trial.
In the wake of the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, Chansley has become one of the most well-known personalities. On Capitol grounds, he was photographed and videotaped shirtless and sporting a hat with horns.
So far482 people have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot.