Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Sharman”, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the US Capitol riot, reported the famous American television network, CNN.
The Justice Department requested for Chansley to receive a strict sentence in order to set an example among the rioters of January 6, whereas prosecutors positioned Chansley as a symbol of a barbaric crowd.
More than 660 cases related to the riots and attack on US Capitol
Since then, Chansley has gained the reputation as “QAnon Shaman”, a figure known in the margins of the online movement and for the widely shared photos in which he is captured wearing face paint and a horned headdress in the Senate Hall.
Attack on US Capitol, 6 January 2021
Judge Royce Lamberth has held Chansley in prison since his arrest, despite his several attempts to gain sympathy and for his release.
Other judges will probably consider the sentence of Lamberth as a possible point of reference, as Chansley is one of the first accused for the criminal act, of 660 and more cases related to the riots and the attack on US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The bizarre look made him famous
The pictures of Chansley in the US Capitol went viral because of his bizarre look while he was leading the others through the Capitol, shouting into a bullhorn. As one of the first 30 protestors in the building, he went to the Capitol building that was previously swiftly evacuated by then Vice President Mike Pence and where, according to his statement, he left a note for the Vice President.
Rioters enter the Capitol (6 January 2021)
Chansley also carried an American flag on a speared flagpole, which prosecutors characterized as a weapon.
The “Shaman” made threats to life
Lamberth asked only several questions – about Chansley leaving a note for Pence and whether he knew about other threats to the life of Pence coming from the crowd, as well about his choice that day.
“He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he?” said Lamberth to the defense attorney of Chansley. “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 into the Senate Hall, yelling together with the crowd. “That is not peaceful”. Paschall called his role in the crowd as “chaos” and “terrifying”.
Confession of guilt
For more than 30 minutes, Chansley spoke with Lambert about the influence that prison has had on him and about the guilt he feels for violating the law.
He said that he made a mistake for entering the Capitol on January 6, and that he is not an insurrectionist or domestic terrorist.
His extensive speech drew the attention of the judge, as Chansley quoted Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas and “The Shawshank Redemption” and described that he wants to live his life like Jesus Christ and Gandhi.
Attack on US Capitol, 6 January 2021
“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”, said Chansley.
“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 he would never be jailed again.
“I think your remarks are the most remarkable I’ve heard in 34 years”, Lamberth said to 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.
Following the riots and his arrest, Chansley requested pardon from then President Donald Trump. He also went on a hunger strike in an attempt to receive organic food while in imprisonment and without permission spoke on the show “60 Minutes” from prison. In September, Chansley pleaded guilty for the crime to obstruct the certifying of the Congressional vote in 2020.
Prepared by: D. Mishev
Translation: N. Cvetkovska