- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman” facing charges for storming the U.S. Capitol, offered Tuesday what his lawyer called “numerous compelling reasons” he should be released pending trial.

Albert S. Watkins additionally revealed new details about Mr. Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, painting a clearer picture of one of the most visible faces of the events of Jan. 6.

Mr. Chansley breached the Capitol building in face paint, horns and a fur headdress. Images showing him in and around the complex, including within the Senate chamber, swiftly went viral.

As dramatic videos and photos showing Mr. Chansley inside the Capitol raced across TV and computer screens, the lifelong Arizona native raced home to Phoenix, his lawyer revealed in a court filing.

The filing, a hefty, 74-page motion for pretrial release, contains several anecdotes involving Mr. Chansley, 33, including one about him receiving a speeding ticket in the aftermath of the riots.

Mr. Chansley has “zero criminal history,” Mr. Watkins wrote, albeit except for the speeding ticket he explained in a detailed footnote that spans two pages in the motion he filed.

“[…]in the interest of full disclosure, the Defendant wishes the Court to know that on his drive back to Phoenix, Arizona from Washington, DC after the January 6, 2021 events at the Capitol, the Defendant received a speeding ticket somewhere in the State of Oklahoma, but has not been able to address same by virtue of his incarceration,” Mr. Chansley‘s lawyer wrote in the footnote.

Mr. Chansley was inside the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6 and returned to Phoenix by car on Jan. 7, his lawyer said in the court filing, conquering a distance of 2,300 miles in 1.5 days.

Reached by The Washington Times, Mr. Watkins confirmed that Mr. Chansley traveled straight back to Arizona by car and that said his client was accompanied by another person on the drive.

The FBI spoke with Mr. Chansley by phone the same day he made it home. He went into a local field office on Jan. 9, where he was interviewed further by federal investigators and then arrested.

Mr. Chansley was later transferred to the custody of the D.C. Department of Corrections. However, a judge soon moved him to a jail in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, so he could receive organic meals. Despite the arrangement, Mr. Chansley is feeling sick from the food he is being fed while detained, his lawyer said along with other reasons he argues justifies pretrial release.

Mr. Chansley, his lawyer wrote, “is very grateful for the efforts made by authorities to accommodate his diet needs. That being said, and without casting aspersions on the efforts of authorities in this regard, the Defendant has experienced significant digestive tract issues for which medical consultation has been sought.” The problems are “attributable to the sustenance” he is receiving, his lawyer asserted.

Additionally, Mr. Watkins raised concerns about COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, among them issues related to Mr. Chanlsy being a practicing Shaman.

“The Defendant is not in a position to honestly represent to the Court that he is possessed of an underlying medical condition which makes him especially vulnerable to the virus, however, the Defendant, by and through his counsel, does point out to the Court that the Defendant’s faith precludes him from receiving a vaccination for COVID-19,” Mr. Watkins wrote.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Mr. Chansley with two felonies and four misdemeanors shortly following his arrest last month. A magistrate later ruled that he should remain jailed under his legal proceedings ends, but Mr. Watkins has asked U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth to reconsider. Judge Lamberth, a Regan appointee, has given the government until next Thursday, March 4, to respond. A hearing on the motions is expected to be held shortly afterward.

Mr. Chansley currently faces charges of civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. More than 200 other faces similar charges related to Jan. 6, and Mr. Chansley is among several who support the delusional far-right QAnon conspiracy theory movement. 

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide