More than two months after the murderous insurgency on Capitol Hill, a judge believes so-called QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley has still not learned his lesson.
The infamous participant in the horned Capitol siege lost his last motion for provisional release on Monday, according to new court documents which reject Chansley’s claims that he was a peaceful participant in the fatal siege.
Earlier this month, Chansley gave his first prison interview since his arrest on CBS News’s “60 Minutes +”, telling correspondent Laurie Segall that he did not view his participation in the insurgency as an attack on United States.
But Chansley’s televised appearance seems to have turned against him. Judge Royce Lamberth cited the interview in his ruling on Monday.
“The statements [Chansley] made the prison public show that [he] does not fully appreciate the seriousness of the allegations made against him, “Lamberth wrote.” On the contrary, he believes that he – not the American people or members of Congress – was the victim on January 6. “
In the interview, Chansley said he regretted entering the Capitol building illegally, but said he believed the move was “acceptable” because police “agitated” the protesters. – a claim that prosecutors were unable to confirm, court records show.
Once inside the building, Chansley told Segall his actions were “peaceful” and “calm.” The 33-year-old said he was “singing a song” inside the bedroom and even “stopped someone from stealing muffins out of the break room.”
But legal documents claim Chansley’s description of the events is a false description of the role he played that day.
“[Chansley’s] the perception of his January 6 actions as peaceful, benign and well-meaning shows a detachment from reality, ”Lamberth said in the ruling.
Chansley is currently jailed in Washington, DC, facing six counts and up to twenty years in prison for his participation in the riot. In addition to unlawful trespassing as one of the first suspected rioters to breach the Capitol, court records indicate Chansley also clashed with Capitol Police officers, entered the Senate chamber, and left a podium note from Vice President Mike Pence saying, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”
He then told FBI agents that Pence was a “child trafficking traitor,” referring to a QAnon conspiracy theory, while Chansley’s attorney, Al Watkins, argued in a motion to put it in motion. bail that his client’s note for Pence used words that came directly from the former president. Donald Trump and were not meant to pose a threat to Pence.
In the aftermath of the Capitol siege, Chansley has become an open critic of Trump, blaming the former president for his participation in the riot and even offering to testify against Trump in his impeachment trial. Although last week Chansley told CBS News he does not regret his loyalty to Trump.
As a growing number of arrested Capitol rioters turn on the former president, Lamberth’s decision on Monday suggests that blaming Trump may not be a foolproof defense.
“Yes [Chansley] truly believes the only reason he participated in an assault on the U.S. Capitol was to comply with President Trump’s orders, it shows [his] inability (or refusal) to exercise independent judgment and comply with the law, ”Lamberth said.
Although Chansley does not have a criminal record, his “blatant disregard” for the law on January 6 makes him a danger to the public and the weight of evidence against him, including photos and video footage of him at inside the Capitol, “increases the risk that it will flee,” Lamberth argued.
Court documents also cite Chansley’s drug use and “his willingness to lie about this drug use” as other examples of his “willingness to openly break the law.”
According to legal documents, Chansley told preliminary services that he uses marijuana three times a week and does not use any other drugs. Yet Chansley is said to have claimed to have used psychoactive substances and mushrooms as part of his “shamanistic practice” on his podcast.
Lamberth also dismissed Chansley’s motion for provisional release that the COVID-19 restrictions made a “meaningful and uncontrolled” consultation with his lawyer “impossible”.
The judge said the problem isn’t that Watkins is unable to meet with his client, but that when he does, he “wastes” time focusing on the media and preparing for interviews.
“Such media appearances are undoubtedly conducive to the defense attorney’s fame,” Lamberth wrote. “But they are not at all conducive to the argument that the only way the defense lawyer can communicate privately with his client is to temporarily release the accused.”
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