QAnon shaman Jacob Chansley pleads responsible in Capitol riot case
Jacob Anthony Angeli Chansley, known as the QAnon shaman, is seen at the capital city riots on January 6, 2021.
Brent Stirton | Getty Images
“QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty Friday to interfering with a Congressional process, nearly eight months after he became widely known for his bizarre looks when he entered the Capitol with a horde of other Trump supporters.
Chansley, who has been detained since his January arrest, faces up to 20 years in prison, one of six charges he was originally tried in federal court in Washington, DC
But the 33-year-old man from Phoenix, Arizona, is likely to receive a less severe sentence when convicted on Nov. 17 than under federal guidelines.
A prosecutor said that a rough calculation of these guidelines would indicate a sentence of between 41 and 51 months in prison. Chansley would count this sentence for the time imprisoned since his arrest.
Judge Royce Lamberth accepted Chansley’s consent with the prosecutors after ruling that he was mentally able to understand the proceedings.
“Are you actually guilty of this offense?” asked Lamberth.
“Yes, Your Honor,” Chansley replied in a sober voice.
Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, who requested his release pending conviction, told the judge that his client was “not a planner” of the uprising, “he was not violent”.
“I am confident the court will fuel Mr. Chansley’s growth and healing,” said Watkins.
Lamberth said he would decide on the release request later.
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Chansley wore no shirt, wore a spear, wore face-paint and a fur hat with horns as he walked into the Capitol complex with thousands of other people on Jan. 6 and the continuing confirmation from Congress of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Prosecutors accused Chansley of running the QAnon fake conspiracy theory into the Senate Chamber and up to the podium where then-Vice President Mike Pence was leading the case minutes earlier.
He left a note on the podium warning, “It is only a matter of time before justice comes,” prosecutors said.
His attorney told Reuters in July that Chansley was negotiating a plea after prison psychologists diagnosed him with mental illnesses including transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.
Friday’s hearing was held remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 160 people listened over the phone to the hearing, which began after at least one voice shouted the word “Freedom!”
Nearly 600 defendants have been charged in cases related to the Capitol Riots, which began after then-President Donald Trump called on supporters at a rally to march to Congress and oppose confirmation of Biden’s victory.