Mar 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Judge: "QAnon shaman" too dangerous to release pending trial

Photo of the QAnon shaman in the Senate chamber holding an American flag and wearing horns

The "QAnon shaman" yells inside the Senate chamber on during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The "QAnon shaman" charged in the Capitol insurrection is too dangerous to release from jail while his case is ongoing, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Driving the news: Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that he believed Jacob Chansley was unrepentant and could contribute to further violence against the U.S. government if placed under house arrest, CNN reports.

  • Lamberth cited Chansley's "detachment from reality," writing in his ruling that Chansley repeatedly claimed his actions were harmless and downplayed the six-foot spear he brought inside the Capitol — "undoubtedly, a dangerous weapon," Lamberth said.
  • "Defendant characterizes himself as a peaceful person who was welcomed into the Capitol building on January 6th by police officers. The Court finds none of his many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions persuasive," Lamberth said.
  • "The statements defendant has made to the public from jail show that defendant does not fully appreciate the severity of the allegations against him," Lamberth added, referring to Chansley's recent jailhouse interview with "60 Minutes Plus."
  • "To the contrary, he believes that he — not the American people or members of Congress — was the victim on January 6th."

Chansley does not face charges of attacking anyone, but the DOJ maintains that his behavior during the insurrection makes him too dangerous to release.

  • The prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist has pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment.
  • Chansley claimed that he merely "heeded the invitation" of President Trump and would not have entered the Capitol building if not for Trump's "actions and words," Lamberth's ruling states.
  • Chansley also made news in February for demanding organic food in the Washington jail where he's housed.

Read the full ruling, via BuzzFeed News

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