QAnon Shaman's lawyer blames Trump's 'propaganda' for brainwashing his client to riot

QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley says Trump ‘groomed’ him and other rioters

QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley could receive a long prison sentence for his part in storming of Capitol but he claims he thought he was ‘lawfully answering call of President’ Trump

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 26 February 2021 23:42
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Jacob Chansley, the man known as the "QAnon Shaman", claims that former President Donald Trump used social media and "public propaganda" to "groom" his followers.

Mr Chansley filed a motion Tuesday arguing through his lawyer that he should be released from jail ahead of his trial and that he was only one of millions who were fooled into believing Mr Trump's conspiracy theories.

Mr Chansley could receive a long prison sentence for his part in the storming of the Capitol on 6 January but he firmly claims that he thought that he was "lawfully answering the call of the President" when he crossed the threshold from protester to rioter and becoming a member of a mob.

Albert Watkins, the lawyer representing Mr Chansley, wrote that "for years during the Trump administration, the President honed and routinely utilized his mass communication means to effectively groom millions of Americans with respect to his policies, protocols, beliefs and overwhelming fixation on all matters conspiratorial".

Mr Chansley and Mr Watkins put the blame squarely on Mr Trump. Many others who've been arrested for their actions during the riot have done the same, Reuters reported.

The motion states: "Months before the 2020 Presidential election, former President Trump heightened his public propaganda such as to alarm, alert, and amass his supporters and cause them to be concerned about an inevitable voter fraud being perpetrated upon the United States of America and, in turn, theft of our nation, loss of our democracy, and the seating of a falsely/fraudulently elected individual other than former President Trump."

Read more: Police captain offers grisly new details of Capitol riot at first official hearing on insurrection

Mr Chansley quickly went viral during the riot as he roved the building shirtless, wearing face paint, horns, and fur.

While the motion says that Mr Chansley does not have a medical condition that makes him vulnerable to Covid-19, his religious beliefs "precludes him" from getting vaccinated, which suggests that he should be released from jail because of his religion and medical situation, Newsweek reported.

Mr Chansley, who only eats organic food, went on a hunger strike in order to be served the right kind of food while in jail, CNN reported.

The motion says that he was "very grateful" for a court order that said that he should only be served food that was up to scratch and that lived up to his religious beliefs.

The motion also states that Mr Chansley "has experienced significant digestive tract issues for which medical consultation has been sought," because of the food. The problems were "attributable to the sustenance accorded the Defendant while in custody," the motion said.

According to the Associated Press, Mr Chansley went through two hunger strikes while in jail and lost 20 pounds during the second strike.

A public apology was issued on 8 February, in which he said he regretted his actions and that Mr Trump "let a lot of peaceful people down," and that he was "deeply disappointed" in the former president.

In the apology, Mr Chansley asked the public to "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. We are good people who care deeply about our country".

Mr Watkins sought a pardon for his client from Mr Trump while he still occupied the White House but didn't succeed in his efforts.

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