Capitol rioter ‘QAnon Shaman’ pleads guilty, disappointed Trump has not forgiven

Jacob Chansley, holding a sign referencing QAnon, speaks as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather to protest the early 2020 presidential election results outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) , in Phoenix, Arizona on November 5, 2020. REUTERS / Cheney Orr

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol rioter dubbed “Shaman QAnon” is disappointed that former President Donald Trump has not pardoned him, his lawyer said on Friday after the man pleaded guilty to having participated in the troubles of January 6.

Jacob Chansley, of Phoenix, Arizona, was pictured inside the Capitol shirtless, wearing a horned headdress and heavily tattooed. He has been held without bond since his arrest shortly after the riot and pleaded guilty on Friday to obstructing formal proceedings.

While in detention, Chansley underwent mental examinations and was diagnosed by prison authorities as suffering from transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Nearly 600 people have been arrested for the attack on Capitol Hill where Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in November. Earlier, Trump gave a fiery speech falsely claiming his defeat was the result of fraud.

While the felony charge to which Chansley pleaded guilty carries both a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $ 250,000, prosecutor Kimberly Paschall said the the maximum sentence the government was likely to seek would be much shorter.

Chansley had been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory which portrays Trump as a savior figure and elite Democrats as a cabal of satanist pedophiles and cannibals.

Although he did not get a pardon from Trump, Chansley’s defense attorney Albert Watkins said “there will always be a soft spot” for Trump in Chansley’s heart.

At Friday’s plea hearing, Watkins asked Judge Royce Lamberth to allow Chansley to be released from prison pending a sentencing hearing, scheduled for November 17. The judge said he would consider this request.

Watkins noted that prosecutors admitted Chansley was “not a planner or organizer” of the riot. Watkins later told reporters that Chansley cooperated with the Jan.6 inquiries and informed a group he saw classified documents stolen from a Senate office.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Howard Goller

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