Accused 6 January rioter Jacob Chansley – alternatively known as the “QAnon Shaman” – has expressed regrets about his actions a year ago.
The 34-year-old, who was sentenced to 41 months in jail in November for rioting on the US Capitol, said in a recent interview from jail that he “actually tried to, on more than one occasion, calm the crowd, but it just didn’t work”.
He told Inside Edition: “In retrospect, one thing I can say that I regret is not working to ensure that there was far more peace on that day. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have stepped in before any barricades were breached.”
His remarks come despite now world famous images of Chansley standing bare chested in the Senate chamber on 6 January 2021, howling and chanting – all the while wearing a horned helmet and USA-coloured facial markings.
It has been argued that despite an admission of regret, the figure who was known as the “QAnon Shaman” before the riot in conspiracy theory circles was a kind of ringleader figure for many who took part in rioting on 6 January.
His defence attorney, Albert Watkins, said in court during the sentencing of Chansley in November that his client could not be “an insurrectionist” because of his wild appearance, however.
“An insurrectionist? Look up the word. Are you going follow the guy who’s naked, tattooed nipples, January, DC, hours outside with horns, face paint and a fur and say, yeah, that’s the guy I want, I’m following him?” Mr Watkins said.
“Unless you’re smoking crack, which, you know, is not bad on occasion.”
Chansley added in his recent interview that, As far as being ‘the face, [of 6 January], that’s something that the media made me. I didn’t make myself anything”.
He will be subject to 36 months of supervised release when released from jail, which could come before the next election. That is unless an appeal is successful on the basis of Mr Watkin’s alleged “ineffective counsel”.
Mr Watkins called Capitol rioters “all f***ing short-bus people” and “people with brain damage” while representing Chansley, who was sentenced after agreeing a plea deal.
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