- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2021

A defense attorney for Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon shaman,” on Friday blamed former President Trump for his client’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol as he argued that Mr. Chansley should be released from jail.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington ended the hearing without deciding on whether Mr. Chansley should be sprung ahead of a trial.

Mr. Chansely, the shirtless man spotted in the Capitol wearing body paint and a horned helmet while brandishing a flagpole as a spear, faces a slew of federal charges for his role in the riot.

Federal prosecutors have charged him with entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

They have also alleged that Mr. Chansley left a threatening note for former Vice President Mike Pence, which read, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

Defense attorney Albert Watkins repeatedly pointed a finger at Mr. Trump while pushing to get his client released.

He portrayed his client as a patsy who was duped by Mr. Trump into breaking the law. While Mr. Watkins insisted his client takes responsibility for his actions, he repeatedly blamed the former president for Mr. Chansley’s behavior on Jan. 6.

“You have no right to expect the words of the president to be untruthful and [that] if you follow the president, you are going to jail,” he told the court.

“He made some bad choices in who he put his faith in,” Mr. Watkins said of his client, saying Mr. Chansley fell for “untruths” by the “most powerful man in the world.”

Mr. Watkins also said that his client was deeply hurt that Mr. Trump did not pardon any of the Capitol rioters before leaving office.

“That was a dose of humbling betrayal,” he continued. “It was gut-wrenching. It was a kick in the chest.”

Prosecutor Kimberly Louise Paschall told the court that if Mr. Chansley was released, there would be no reason to believe he would not break the law again. After meeting with the FBI before his arrest, Mr. Chansley drove to another protest organized by Trump supporters.

Ms. Paschall emphasized that Mr. Chansley only “claims to be sorry,” while still adhering to the conspiracy theories about the 2020 election that brought him to the Capitol.

“We know how the defendant feels to this day about some of these issues because he has spoken to the press,” she said, referencing a recent interview Mr. Chansley did with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Earlier this week, Mr. Chansely appeared on the television show to discuss his disappointment in not receiving a pardon and explain his support for Mr. Trump.

The appearance appeared to frustrate Judge Lamberth, who said he never authorized any television interviews. He said he told Mr. Watkins earlier in the case not to do any media appearances and suggested “subterfuge” by defense counsel.

The judge said he would enter the appearance into the record, raising the possibility of further comment by him.

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