Jacob Chansley, photographed during the January 6th Uprising in the US Capitol, shouts “Freedom” in the Senate Chamber after a mob was injured during a joint congressional session. Win McNamee / Getty Images Hide caption
Win McNamee / Getty Images
Win McNamee / Getty Images
A federal judge ruled Monday that the so-called “QAnon Shaman” must remain in jail pending his trial for his role in the siege of the US Capitol on January 6, as he remains a threat to the public.
Judge Royce Lamberth, in his order to deny Jacob Chansley’s application for early release, said that “no condition or combination of conditions” would ensure Chansley’s return to court if released.
Lamberth said Chansley believes his actions were peaceful during the Siege of the Capitol, an attack that killed five people. This way of thinking, wrote Lamberth, shows “a detachment from reality”.
“The defendant describes himself as a peaceful person who was greeted by police officers in the Capitol on January 6,” Lamberth wrote in the Order. “The court finds none of his many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions convincing.”
A shirtless Chansley was photographed in the US Senate Chamber. He wore attention-grabbing red and blue complexions, an animal fur headdress, and a flagpole with a speared top.
He was arrested in January and pleaded not guilty of civil disorder, obstruction of due process, forced entry and disorderly behavior.
State attorneys describe Chansley as a leader within the QAnon conspiracy movement, which promotes unsubstantiated claims that former President Donald Trump is fighting a global system of powerful pedophiles among the elite and powerful in the U.S. government.
Chansley’s attorney advocated his client’s pre-trial release, citing President Biden’s inauguration and the fact that COVID-19 restrictions in prison make it “impossible” for the two to communicate privately. His lawyer argued that Chansley’s belief prevented him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lamberth refused to release him, focusing in part on the fact that Chansley stormed the Capitol with a dangerous weapon. Chansley’s attorney described it as a flagpole with a “spear finale”.
Lamberth noted Chansley’s refusal to listen to the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers during the violation as evidence that if he were released he would fail to abide by the terms of his release or to follow police orders.
In addition, the judge said that Chansley’s own language on social media and during the Capitol Riots can be seen as threatening and promising for future violent action. This included comments Chansley made in the judge’s judgment in support of the hanging of “traitors.”
One of these threats was directed against former Vice President Mike Pence. Details from court documents indicate that Chansley scribbled on a piece of paper Pence left behind when he escaped the Senate Chamber during the siege. Chansley wrote, “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming.” Then he repeated this sentence to a reporter who was filming in the Senate Chamber that day.
Chansley called the FBI in the days after the riot and said he was glad he entered the Senate Chamber and said Pence was a “traitor to the child trafficking”.
Lamberth wrote in his conclusion, “These are not the acts of a person shy about breaking the law.”