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‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley released from prison 14 months early

Chansley has reportedly been transferred to a halfway house

Eric Garcia
Friday 31 March 2023 09:14 BST
So-called 'QAnon Shaman' Jacob Chansley released from prison

Jacob Chansley, the January 6 rioter who became known as the “QAnon Shaman,” has been transferred from a federal prison to a halfway house in Arizona months before he was planned to be released.

Federal prison records showed that Mr Chansley – who earned notoriety for wearing an animal skin hat with horns and a painted face while roaming around the Capitol shirtless – is at a “residential reentry management” facility and will be released on 25 May, according to CBS News.

Mr Chansley reportedly was set to be released in July but earned a reduction in his sentence for good behaviour. He originally pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing a federal proceeding and had spent time in jail before his plea and sentencing.

On the day when former president Donald Trump’s supporters breached the US Capitol, Mr Chansley was part of a smaller group of rioters who went into the US Senate chamber and sat the desk of the Senate President. Mr Chansley proceeded to take pictures of himself and refused to vacate the seat when law enforcement asked him to do so.

At the time, Vice President Mike Pence was serving as President of the Senate during Congress’s proceedings to certify the 2020 presidential election. But Mr Pence rebuffed Mr Trump’s entreaty to overturn the election results, which led to Mr Chansley to criticise him.

“Mike Pence is a f***ing traitor,” he said, according to prosecutors, and wrote a note on the Senate dais saying that “It's Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!”

In 2018, Mr Trump signed the First Step Act, which changed how frequently federal inmates could earn sentence reductions.

Recently, Mr Chansley made headlines when Fox News host Tucker Carlson played footage of Mr Chansley reportedly not seeming as violent as he had been broadcasted before. Mr Chansley’s attorney appeared on the show.

But in 2021, Mr Chansley said his actions were “indefensible.”

“I am in no way shape or form a dangerous criminal. I am not a violent man. I am not an insurrectionist. I am certainly not a domestic terrorist,” he said.

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