Jake Angeli, the “QAnon Shaman” who became the face of the 6 January siege of the US Capitol Building, has hit out at former president Donald Trump in a statement apologising for his part in the violence that left five people dead.
Mr Angeli was seen stalking the halls of the occupied legislative complex amid the melee wearing a furry Native American war bonnet with buffalo horns, his face painted red, white and blue, his chest bare and brandishing a six-foot spear.
The Shaman, a 33-year-old US Navy veteran, actor and conspiracy theorist from Arizona whose real name is Jacob Anthony Angeli Chansley, was swiftly arrested on 9 January on federal charges of “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds”.
In the month since the failed insurrection, Mr Angeli has remained a figure of international interest and made news last week when he was transferred from the DC Department of Corrections facility in Washington, DC, to Virginia’s Alexandria Detention Centre so that he could be fed organic food after it emerged he had not eaten in jail for nine days.
Now apparently sorry for his part in the mob’s protest against Congress certifying November’s Electoral College in response to unproven voter fraud allegations from Mr Trump, Mr Angeli has issued a statement via his attorney, Albert Watkins, saying he is “deeply disappointed in former President Trump”.
“He was not honorable,” Mr Angeli says of the ex-commander-in-chief, who left office two weeks on from the Capitol riot, having been impeached by the House of Representatives for a historic second time in the interim.
“He let a lot of peaceful people down. I have to leave judging him up to other people.”
Expressing regret for his own actions, Mr Angeli said: “I am sorry for having aroused fear in the hearts of others. That was wrong. Period.”
“Please be patient with me and other peaceful people who, like me, are having a very difficult time piecing together all that happened to us, around us, and by us,” he added.
“We are good people who care deeply about our country.”
His statement arrived just as Mr Trump’s trial opened in the Senate, with Democratic impeachment managers opening proceedings with a powerful video recapping the events of the siege, from the president’s inflammatory remarks urging his supporters to “fight like hell” at a “Stop the Steal” rally to activists breaking through police barriers to storm the building, breaching its defences for the first time since 1814.
Mr Watkins last week told CBC Radio that Mr Angeli would be willing to testify against President Trump should the Senate decide to call witnesses.
“My client was, just like tens of thousands of others, just like the high school students being jazzed up by their coach before a big game on a Friday night,” he told As It Happens host Carol Off on 29 January.
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