Sep 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Federal jury convicts QAnon believer who led charge during Capitol riot

Douglas Jensen shown on Jan. 6, 2020 inside the Capitol

Doug Jensen (center) is shown with a group of rioters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal jury on Friday convicted a QAnon believer who led a charging mob that was trying to breach the Senate chamber during the Capitol riot, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: Douglas Austin Jensen, of Iowa, was one of the first people to breach the Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, as then-President Trump's followers sought to block the certification of the 2020 election results.

  • Jensen was arrested shortly after and charged with seven federal crimes. The jury found him guilty of all charges, including assaulting and impeding officers, entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct.
  • His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16.

Catch up fast: Jensen led a mob toward United States Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman in a "menacing manner," federal officials said. Goodman stood his ground and sought to divert rioters from the Senate chambers while lawmakers were still being evacuated.

  • Video Jensen filmed that day shows him calling for others to “storm the White House” as they streamed into the Capitol.
  • Jensen’s lawyer said his client didn’t realize he stormed the Capitol, not the White House, until a day later and that "shows you how confused and how jumbled his head is,” NBC News reports.

The other side: Far from confused, prosecutors said Jensen "was the rioter who would not back down” and said he was “weaponizing that mob” when he refused to heed police commands to stand down.

Background: After spending six months in a D.C. jail, Jensen was released in July to await trial while under a strict form of home detention.

  • Under the terms of his release, he promised he had renounced his belief in the conspiracy theory and would not use the internet.
  • About a month later, Jensen was caught watching videos on election conspiracies, a violation of the terms of his release. He was sent back to jail at the beginning of September.

By the numbers: More than 850 people have been arrested for their actions on Jan. 6. Jensen joins the ranks of more than 350 people who have been convicted in connection with the Capitol riot, per NBC news.

Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show the Capitol riot occurred in 2021, not 2020.

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