'QAnon shaman' Jacob Chansley, face of Jan. 6 Trump Capitol riot, will plead guilty

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A protester screams “Freedom” inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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“QAnon shaman” Jacob Chansley — whose bizarre costume made him one of the most notorious members of a mob of Trump supporters to raid the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — is set to plead guilty in his criminal case, a new court filing showed.

Chansley drew widespread attention during the riot after being captured in photos and video walking through the Capitol complex shirtless, heavily tattooed, wielding a spear, wearing face paint, along with a fur hat that sported horns.

Chansley, who subscribes to the bogus QAnon conspiracy theory, currently faces six criminal counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, entering a restricted building and violent entry of the Capitol.

But it is not clear what charge or charges the Arizona man, who is being held without bond, has agreed to plead to Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

A notice in the court’s docket on Thursday indicated a “plea agreement hearing” would be held Friday morning.

Chanlsey’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, said he will hold a news conference after his client’s hearing. 

“It has been a long and tortured path from Jan 6 to date,” Watkins wrote in an email to CNBC.

Chansley is among the highest profile of nearly 600 defendants in cases related to the Capitol riot, which began after then-President Donald Trump urged supporters at a rally to march to Congress and oppose the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election as president.

Reuters reported July 23 that Chansley, who is also known as Jacob Angeli, was in plea negotiations with prosecutors after prison psychologists diagnosed him as suffering from mental illnesses including transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Watkins told Reuters at the time that the diagnosis was similar to evaluations in 2006 mental health records from Chansley’s stint in the U.S. Navy.

The attorney said Chansley’s expressed delusions include “believing that he was indeed related directly to Jesus and Buddha.”

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Prosecutors have said that during the riot, Chansley ran into the Senate chamber and up to the dais, where then-Vice President Mike Pence minutes before had been presiding over proceedings to certify Biden’s White House win.

“Chansley left a note on the Senate Chamber dais …. warning ‘it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming,'” prosecutors said in a court filing.

When the FBI questioned Chansley about the meaning of his words, he “went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators, specifically naming Vice President Mike Pence,” prosecutors wrote.



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