Crime Judge Accuses Jacob ‘QAnon Shaman’ Chansley’s Lawyer of Possible ‘Subterfuge’ After TV Debut on ’60 Minutes’ Backfires
QAnon Shaman Wants Out of Jail; Says the Government Lied About His Flagpole and Finial
Defense attorney Albert Watkins enlisted the alleged words of American master Mark Twain The post QAnon Shaman Wants Out of Jail; Says the Government Lied About His Flagpole and Finial first appeared on Law & Crime.Jacob Chansley, the pro-Trump Jan. 6 rioter dubbed the “QAnon Shaman,” wants out of jail. In service of that effort, defense attorney Albert Watkins enlisted the words of American master Mark Twain. Or, at least, a phrase commonly attributed to née Samuel Clemens.
The day after granting his first post-arrest television interview, Jacob “QAnon Shaman” Chansley found his words turned against him by federal prosecutors at a bail hearing on Friday afternoon, as a federal judge appeared taken aback that the appearance took place without his authorization.
“Can you tell me how that came about?” U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled, pressing Chansley’s lawyer Albert Watkins on whether his law firm used “subterfuge” to skirt jailhouse restrictions.
'QAnon Shaman' Jake Angelli Accused Trump of 'Grooming' Americans to Accept Conspiracies
In a court filing seeking his pretrial release, the "QAnon Shaman" said that Trump "honed and routinely utilized his mass communication means to effectively groom millions of Americans with respect to his policies, protocols, beliefs and overwhelming fixation on all matters conspiratorial."Chansley, also known by his stage name Jake Angelli, argued that he was one of millions tricked by the former president in a motion seeking to secure his pretrial release on Tuesday. Chansley is facing a potentially lengthy prison sentence for his alleged role in the deadly January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Watkins denied any intend to end-run the court or the detention facility’s restrictions.
“It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t be able to capture the video image of my client in my office,” he said.
As for the claim of “subterfuge,” Watkins said: “It’s just not my style.”
The exchange happened during a Friday afternoon hearing where the same judge was considering whether Chansley should be granted pre-trial release while awaiting trial in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection.
Those proceedings ended without a ruling.
Since his arrest three days after the Jan. 6th siege, Chansley leaned into his image as an icon of the insurrection, wearing a coyote-fur and horned headdress, holding a pole, and standing shirtless and tattooed behind the dais where former Vice President Mike Pence was whisked out of the Senate chamber. Court papers show the note that Chansley left for Pence, a man he had called a “traitor”: “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming.”
'Blame Trump' defense in Capitol riot looks like a long shot
The “Trump-made-me-do-it” defense is already looking like a longshot. Facing damning evidence in the deadly Capitol siege last month — including social media posts flaunting their actions — rioters are arguing in court they were following then-President Donald Trump's instructions on Jan. 6.Facing damning evidence in the deadly Capitol siege last month — including social media posts flaunting their actions — rioters are arguing in court they were following then-President Donald Trump's instructions on Jan. 6.
Prosecutors described the pole Chansley carried as a spear that could have been used as a deadly weapon.
Watkins tried to turn that deadly image on its head by depicting his client as a man inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, a believer in the principle of nonviolence toward all living beings called ahimsa, and a supposed shaman who allegedly would not crush a bug but painted a picture of a Cheshire cat and self-published a work of fiction.
“I’m not going to tell you that it’s a great book,” Watkins said, a line that caused the judge to chuckle.
Trying to undermine prosecutors’ allegations that Chansley led a dangerous conspiratorial movement, Watkins has depicted his client as an unwittingof former President Donald Trump and a disillusioned follower of ideas that he now realizes are wrong. That position took a hit as soon as Chansley declared his continuing loyalty to Trump in a where he repeated his stolen-election fantasy, in a segment first aired on Thursday.
'QAnon Shaman' Jake Angeli Turned on Trump But Feds Say Remorse Is 'No Match' for Evidence
"Statements of guilt and remorse after the defendant's subsequent incarceration are no match for the evidence," federal prosecutors wrote in response to a motion to release the so-called "QAnon Shaman" before his trial.Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, has repeatedly claimed that he was misled by former President Donald Trump prior to taking part in the storming of the Capitol. The ex-Trump supporter became instantly recognizable after viral photos showed him shirtless inside the Capitol while wearing a furry horned hat and patriotic face paint.
That development did not go unnoticed by prosecutors on Friday morning.
“We know how the defendant feels to this day about some of these issue because he has spoken to the press,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Louise Paschall said during a telephone conference.
Those issues include Chansley’s belief in post-election conspiracy theories and the view that President Joe Biden’s government is illegitimate.
“We know the defendant still believes that because he told 60 Minutes as much,” Paschall added.
It was not the first time that Chansley’s major-network interview backfired in his criminal case. The governmenthis remarks to NBC News in the immediate wake of the Jan. 6th siege, enthusiastically celebrating the terror the rioters caused to Congress members.
“The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win,” Chansleythe network on Jan. 7.
Prosecutors have long characterized Chansley as the leader of QAnon, a conspiracy theory positing the existence of a sinister cabal of child-eating Democratic Satanists opposing Trump.
QAnon influencers are attacking their movement's hyped March 4 event, calling it a false flag conspiracy theory
QAnon planned for March 4 as its next big date. The movement's influencers are already looking forward to the next goal post.QAnon, the false far-right conspiracy theory alleging Trump is fighting a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers, chose March 4 because it used to be the inauguration date for American presidents, before the ratification of the 20th Amendment in 1933. Trump International Hotel prices reportedly skyrocketed last month as QAnon believers planned to flock to Washington, DC, for the imagined inauguration.
“Other members of this dangerous anti-government conspiracy view him as a leader also, contributing to his ability to travel off-the-grid and fund-raise rapidly through unconventional means,” a government memo states.
Chansley has cited his professed belief in shamanism in his legal defense, including a successful “emergency petition” for organic food behind bars. In early February, Judge LamberthChansley’s meal requests, even though experts of shamanism find the rioter’s claims to the faith questionable.
“Jacob Chansley’s shamanism bears scant resemblance to the real thing, although he gets high sartorial marks for headgear and ink,” Professor Michael F. Brown, the president of the Santa Fe-based School for Advanced Research and author of The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age, told Law&Crime. “Traditional shamans consume organic foods largely because that’s all they have access to. Some take hallucinogens as part of their practice, while others don’t. But traditional shamanism is closely connected to specific communities and their cultural understandings, which hardly seems to be the case for him.”
The Department of Corrections told the judge that there was little support for the proposition that shamanism would require a diet of wild caught tuna, vegetables, and soup, and a federal magistrate judge in Arizona appeared reluctant to grant an order absent more information. But Judge Lamberth overruled that decision, finding that religiously appropriate meals were constitutionally required where a defendant expresses a sincere belief.
The ruling led to Chansley’s subsequent transfer to a federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., which previously housed the likes of Trump’s ex-campaign chair Paul Manafort and Soviet spy Aldrich Ames.
Listen to an extended interview with Chansley’s attorney Al Watkins in the podcast below:
(Jacob Chansley’s mugshot from the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)
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QAnon Shaman denied pre-trial release on account of 60 Minutes ‘publicity stunt’ .
“Such media appearances are undoubtedly conducive to defense counsel’s fame," a judge ruled.Self-described “QAnon Shaman” Jacon Chansley’s “60 Minutes+” interview has cost him his freedom.