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Jacob Chansley, the self-proclaimed “QAnon shaman” who became one of the faces on the January 6 attack on the Capitol after storming the building in a horned fur coat, has been sentenced to more than three 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 as he howled in the halls of the Capitol became some of the iconic images of the violent, chaotic day.
At a court hearing Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison, though he will receive credit for the approximately 10 months he has already served in jail.
“You did not overthrow anyone, but what you did here was actually hinder the functioning of the entire government,” Lamberth said. “You know what you did was wrong. I admire you for being able to get along.”
The Justice Department says Chansley was among the first 30 troublemakers to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6 when crowds of Donald Trump supporters overwhelmed police, smashed windows and pushed into the building. The mob forced lawmakers to flee and temporarily relinquish their certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
Chansley was arrested days later and charged with six counts, two of which were crimes. He eventually entered into a complaint agreement with the government and pleaded guilty in a single case of obstruction of an official procedure.
In its sentencing note, the Justice Department said Chansley acted as the “flag bearer” of the mob, and his actions on Jan. 6 have made him “the public face of the Capitol riot.”
“The government cannot overestimate the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct as one of the most prominent figures in the historic riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021,” prosecutors said.
According to court documents, when Chansley was inside the building, he came up to the Senate gallery and used his bullhorn to revolt against other rebels. He entered the gallery, screamed obscenities, and then continued down to the floor of the Senate, where he ascended the podium.
After a police officer asked him to leave, Chansley refused, saying, “Mike Pence is a *** traitor.” On the desk at the podium, Chansley wrote a note on a piece of paper that read, “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming!”
Legal papers say Chansley also led troublemakers in a spell over his bullhorn, which he ended with the words, “Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the Communists, globalists and traitors in our government.”
Chansley was arrested on Jan. 9 after driving home from Washington, DC to Phoenix, Arizona. He has been in custody since his arrest.
Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, acknowledged that for many, Chansley has emerged as the face of the uprising. But he claimed that Chansley had tried to co-operate, noted his surrender to federal authorities as well as his pleaded guilty, and asked for a sentence.
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