by William A. Jacobson at legalinsurrection.com
Government withholding the video was “a dagger in the heart of our American justice system”
The “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty to Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, with a potential sentence of up to 20 years, and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Per CNN reporting of the sentencing, Chansley’s alleged violent tendencies on January 6 were mentioned by the Judge as a factor:
Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman,” was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the US Capitol riot.
The Justice Department had asked for Chansley to receive a harsh sentence as a way to set an example among the January 6 rioters, and prosecutors have positioned Chansley as emblematic of a barbaric crowd.
Since then, Chansley gained fame as the “QAnon Shaman,” a figure known in the fringe online movement and for widely shared photos that captured him wearing face paint and a headdress inside the Senate chamber.
Judge Royce Lamberth has had Chansley held in jail since his arrest, despite his multiple attempts to gain sympathy and his release.
Other judges are likely to look to Lamberth’s sentence as a possible benchmark, since Chansley is one of the first felony defendants among more than 660 Capitol riot cases to receive a punishment.
Pictures of Chansley at the Capitol went viral because of his bizarre appearance while leading others through the Capitol, shouting into a bullhorn. As one of the first 30 rioters inside the building, he made his way to the Senate dais that was hastily vacated earlier by then-Vice President Mike Pence, and left a note that read, “It’s Only A Matter Of Time. Justice Is Coming!” according to his plea documents.
Chansley also carried an American flag on a speared flagpole, which prosecutors have characterized as a weapon.
Lamberth asked only a few questions – about Chansley’s leaving a note for Pence and whether he knew of other threats to Pence’s life coming from the crowd, and about his choices that day.
“He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he?” Lamberth said to Chansley’s defense attorney. “For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event.”
Prosecutor Kimberly Paschall used several videos to show Chansley’s entrance into the Capitol building and Senate chamber, yelling along with the crowd. “That is not peaceful.”
Paschall called his role as the “flag-bearer” of the mob “chaos” and “terrifying.”
Chansley showed contrition and apologized:
For more than 30 minutes, Chansley spoke to Lamberth about the impact jail has had on him, and the guilt he feels for breaking the law.
He said he was wrong to enter the Capitol on January 6, and that he is not an insurrectionist or domestic terrorist, but rather a “good man who broke the law.”
His sprawling speech held the attention of the judge, as Chansley quoted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and “The Shawshank Redemption,” and described wanting to live his life like Jesus Christ and Gandhi.
“The hardest part about this is to know that I’m to blame. To have to look in the mirror and know, you really messed up. Royally,” Chansley said.
“I was in solitary confinement because of me. Because of my decision. I broke the law … I should do what Gandhi would do and take responsibility,” he says. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, that’s what men of honor do.” He promised to never have to be jailed again.
“I think your remarks are the most remarkable I’ve heard in 34 years,” Lamberth told Chansley, calling his speech “akin to the kind of thing Martin Luther King would have said.”
But, Lamberth added, “what you did here was as horrific as you now concede,” and he could not justify a shorter sentence.
Last Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson showed video of Chansley, never before made public, walking casually through the Capitol, interacting peacefully with dozens of officers, some of whom seemed to be assisting Chansley, including getting him access to the Senate Chamber, as we reported, Jan. 6 Footage: Capitol Police Escorting a Calm ‘QAnon Shaman’ to Senate Floor: