November 30, 2021

the “shaman” linked to QAnon sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison

A pro-Trump conspiratorial activist, with his buffalo horned headdress one of the faces of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, was sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison by a Washington court on Wednesday, November 17. Jacob Chansley, 34, “became the very image” of this day of chaos which shook the American democracy, underlined the 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.

Armed with a spear and shirtless, this self-proclaimed “shaman” and follower of the QAnon nebula conspiracy theories 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 walked into 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, originally 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. On November 10, the prosecution requested 51 months in prison, 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.

This severe sentence “will be enough to deter forever any such criminal actsaid 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 “the ‘corrupt politicians’ and the ‘traitors’ in government” well before the events of January 6.

“A mob storming the Capitol with the aim of disrupting the activities of parliamentarians is not peaceful, it is a criminal obstruction.”

Kimberly Paschall, procureure

during the trial of Jacob Chansley

Speaking to the judge, Jacob Chansley claimed to be “not a dangerous criminal” but suffer from “personality disorders” that he wants to treat 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. Placed in solitary confinement in prison, he says he had time to look at himself in a mirror to say to himself: “Dude, you really screwed up.” Before his judgment, his lawyer Albert Watkins had assured that Jacob Chansley had repudiated the QAnon movement and said to himself “disappointed” par Donald Trump.

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A total of 664 people have been charged to varying degrees for their participation in the deadly assault, according to the extremism research program at George Washington University. (in English). 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.