Judge rejects QAnon shaman’s bid for release

Source: Politico | March 8, 2021 | Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said Jacob Chansley’s statements underscored his ongoing dangerousness after storming the Capitol.

The spear-wielding self-described shaman who stormed the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 will remain behind bars pending trial, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

The decision by Jacob Chansley, an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, to speak to CBS’ “60 Minutes+” and other media outlets appears to have backfired, as U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said Chansley’s statements underscored his ongoing dangerousness. Lamberth repeatedly cited Chansley’s comments to “60 Minutes+” — as well as his mother’s — as evidence that he shouldn’t be released.

“[D]efendant’s statements after January 6 indicate that he does not fully appreciate the severity of the charges brought against him,” Lamberth wrote in a 32-page opinion. “If defendant does not understand the severity of the allegations against him, the Court finds no reason to believe he would not commit the same or similar actions again.

Chansley’s attorney, Al Watkins, sought to paint the eccentric Arizona man as a harmless figure who was deeply in the thrall of former President Donald Trump but has now come to terms with the results of last November’s election.

However, Lamberth said that Chansley appeared to still be loyal to Trump and that this fealty made the defendant more of a risk to commit other crimes. The judge also said Chansley “blatantly lied” in the interview, contending that police officers welcomed him into the Capitol when evidence proves otherwise — and shows that he disobeyed officers’ orders once inside.

“The notion that defendant is no longer beholden to President Trump is undercut by defendant’s statement on 60 Minutes+ that he does not regret his loyalty to the former President,” wrote Lamberth, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan.

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