Jacob Chansley, the face-paint and fur wearing Trump supporter whose images from inside the Capitol came to define the 6 January riots in Washington, is now offering to testify against the president, saying he feels betrayed.
Albert Watkins, the lawyer of the man popularly known as the “QAnon Shaman”, has said his client will testify at Mr Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, which is scheduled to begin in the second week of February.
Mr Watkins emphasised that his client was “horrendously smitten” by Donald Trump but now feels let down after the former president’s refusal to grant pardons to him and others involved in the 6 January riots. “He felt like he was betrayed by the president,” he said.
The lawyer clarified that he hasn’t spoken to any member of the Senate since announcing Mr Chansley’s offer, but said it would be important for the senators to hear the voice of someone who was allegedly incited by the former president.
Mr Chansley has long been a fixture at public rallies for Mr Trump.
It has been reported that statements from a number of Trump supporters, now facing charges of their own, are likely to feature heavily in the case against the former president, as the impeachment trial seeks to establish the extent of his responsibility in triggering the deadly violence in Washington.
Mr Chansley and at least four other people, facing federal charges related to the riots, have suggested they were taking orders from Mr Trump.
Mr Chansley, who is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday in Washington, hasn’t yet entered a plea to charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, demonstrating in a Capitol building and other counts.
Prosecutors have said Mr Chansley went into the Capitol, ignored an officer’s commands to leave, went into the Senate chamber and wrote a threatening note to then-vice president Mike Pence.
According to court records, he told investigators that he came to the Capitol at the request of Donald Trump.
Additional reporting by agencies
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