QAnon shaman turns against Trump, says he would testify that president incited Capitol riots as Trump did not pardon him
By blaming Trump he can get from the Democrats prosecutors the pardon he disappointedly did not get from Trump.
He was the face of the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill. Shirtless, but clad in a coyote-fur headdress, buffalo horns, face paint and tattoos and wielding a spear, Jacob Chansley seemed the de facto lead in the uprising that tried to prevent the Biden Electoral College win over President Trump.
Chansley can be seen in many photos in his primitive outfit — complete with wildly incongruous backpack — in the Senate chamber that day, where he left a note for then-Vice President Mike Pence, who had been leading the hearing, that read, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”
But now the 33-year-old, “horrendously smitten” with Trump less than a month ago, has turned against him. Chansley’s public defender, Albert Watkins, says his client now feels let down after he didn’t get a pardon from the outgoing president. He is willing to testify against Trump at next week’s impeachment trial, and Watkins said it’s important for senators to hear the voice of someone who was incited by him.
Chansley has pleaded not guilty to charges of violent entry, disorderly conduct and obstruction of an official proceeding, which occurred after hundreds of protesters unlawfully and violently entered the Capitol.
But, says his lawyer, Chansley is actually non-violent and truly spiritual. “My client was, just like tens of thousands of others, just like high school students being jazzed up by their coach before a big game,” Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, told CBC Radio’s As It Happens host Carol Off. “You have to get to know the man behind the horn and the fur.”
Chansley, who calls himself the QAnon Shaman and has long been a fixture at Trump rallies, told investigators he came to the Capitol “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6,” according to court records. Watkins said Trump’s maxims do not excuse his client’s behaviour but “does, however, mitigate that culpability.”
In court on Friday, Watkins called his client “a man of faith in shamanism, a longstanding faith.”
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth seemed genuinely curious about Chansley’s spiritual convictions. “Tell me a little more about the religion,” the judge asked Watkins at one point. “I don’t know a thing about it,” was the response.
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