Sep 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Alleged Capitol rioter sent back to jail after watching conspiracy theory event

Protesters interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021.
A group interacts with police during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

An Iowa man charged with participating in the Capitol riot was sent back to jail Thursday after he was caught violating the terms of his release by streaming an event featuring election fraud conspiracy theories, according to court filings.

Driving the news: The suspect, Doug Jensen, spent six months in a Washington, D.C., jail before securing pretrial release in July after promising he had renounced his belief in QAnon and agreeing to abide by the court's order that he stay off the internet.

  • The very first time a court officer made an unannounced visit to check on Jensen's compliance, he was caught watching a video from Rumble, a streaming site popular with conservatives, on an iPhone.
  • Jensen also admitted to watching MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s "Cyber Symposium," which included unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election was hacked.

The big picture: Jensen had been on home incarceration, a strict type of pretrial release, and the violation was discovered just 30 days after he left jail.

  • “He has not experienced the transformation that his lawyer previously described,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said Thursday, according to Buzzfeed.
  • Jensen was arrested in the days following the Jan. 6 insurrection and was ultimately charged with seven federal crimes, including assaulting and impeding officers, entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct.
  • A Department of Justice fact sheet describes Jensen, dressed in a QAnon T-shirt, as leading a crowd toward an officer in a "menacing manner."

What to watch: While Jensen will now return to jail, it remains to be seen whether he will serve time in Iowa or return to the D.C. jail where he was previously held.

  • Jensen is due back in court on September 24.
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