via Associated Press
UNITED STATES – Jail closed for the “shaman” of the assault on the Capitol. A pro-Trump conspiratorial activist, who with his buffalo horned headdress became one of the faces of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, was sentenced this Wednesday, November 17 to nearly three and a half years in prison by a Washington court, a lighter sentence than that requested by the prosecution.
Jacob Chansley, 34, “has become the very image” of this day of chaos that had shaken American democracy, said Judge Royce Lamberth by pronouncing a sentence of 41 months of imprisonment. “What you have done is terrible”, he added, while taking into account the “remorse” of the accused.
“It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming!”
Armed with a spear and shirtless, this self-proclaimed “shaman” and adherent to the conspiracy theories of the QAnon nebula had participated in the invasion of Congress with hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump, to prevent elected officials from validating the victory of the Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.
He entered the Senate Chamber, sat in the chair reserved for Vice President Mike Pence and left a note saying “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming!”. The man from Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested a few days after the incident and has been in detention for ten months.
In September, he pleaded guilty to obstructing formal proceedings in federal court in Washington. The prosecution claimed 51 months in prison on November 10, which would have been the heaviest sentence handed down against a participant in the January 6 assault, even though the charges of violence were dropped.
A severe penalty to set an example
This severe sentence “will be enough to deter forever any criminal act of this kind”, explained Wednesday the prosecutor Kimberly Paschall. “Justice will not stand idly by as you attack the peaceful transfer of power”.
To explain its severity, she recalled that Jacob Chansley had posted “vitriolic messages” on social networks against “corrupt politicians and traitors in government” long before the events of January 6.
“If the accused had been peaceful, he would not be here today,” she said. “A crowd storming the Capitol with the aim of disrupting the activities of parliamentarians is not peaceful, it is a criminal obstruction,” she explained.
“Just a good man who broke the law”
Speaking at length to the judge, Jacob Chansley said he was “not a dangerous criminal” but suffered from “personality disorders” that he wanted to cure to become a “better man”.
“I am not a violent man, nor an insurgent and certainly not a terrorist. I am just a good man who broke the law ”, he explained, assuring to believe“ in freedom, law and order, and responsibility ”.
Placed in solitary confinement in prison, he said he had time to look at himself in a mirror to say to himself: “Dude, you really screwed up”.
Chansley “disappointed” by Trump
Before his judgment, his lawyer Albert Watkins had assured that Jacob Chansley had since repudiated the QAnon movement and had said he was “disappointed” by Donald Trump.
A total of 664 people were charged to varying degrees with their participation in the deadly assault, according to the Extremism Research Program at George Washington University.
Five people died during or shortly after the attack, including a police officer and a female protester killed by an officer inside the building. In addition, two police officers committed suicide in the days and weeks that followed, without a direct link having been established.
Also to see on HuffPost: Donald Trump wants to reopen the investigation into the death of a QAnon activist killed on Capitol Hill