‘QAnon Shaman’ sentenced to 41 months in prison for role in Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Jacob Chansley, who has been called the “QAnon Shaman,” was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his actions in the Capitol riot on January 6. Chansley pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding.
The Department of Justice asked for Chansley to receive a heavy sentence as a way to set an example for the January 6 rioters, and prosecutors have characterized Chansley as the face of a barbaric crowd that day. Chansley amassed some fame as the “QAnon Shaman,” a person known in the online movement and for widely spread photos that showed him inside the Senate chamber wearing face paint and a headdress.
He has been held in jail since his arrest, despite several of his attempts to be released by gaining sympathy. Other judges may look to Judge Royce Lamberth’s sentence as a benchmark, as Chansley is one of the first felony defendants to receive a punishment.
Photos of Chansley at the Capitol went viral due to his appearance wearing facepaint and a headdress as he led others through the Capitol building, wielding a bullhorn. He was one of the first 30 demonstrators who entered the building, and he made his way to the Senate dais that had been evacuated quickly by then-Vice President Mike Pence, leaving behind, according to his plea documents, a note that read, “It’s Only A Matter Of Time. Justice Is Coming!”
After his arrest, he asked then-President Donald Trump for a pardon, and he went on a hunger strike in an attempt to get organic food while in custody. Chansley pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing the certification of the 2020 election.
Chansley spoke to Judge Lamberth for more than 30 minutes about how jail impacted him and the guilt he feels over breaking the law. “The hardest part about this is to know that I’m to blame. To have to look in the mirror and know, you really messed up. Royally,” he said. “I was in solitary confinement because of me. Because of my decision. I broke the law … I should do what Gandhi would do and take responsibility.”
He continued, “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, that’s what men of honor do,” and he promised to never have to be jailed again. Although Lamberth called his speech “akin to the kind of thing Martin Luther King would have said,” he could not justify a shorter sentence and added, “what you did here was as horrific as you now concede.”
The time Chansley has already spent in jail will count towards his sentence, and he will have to pay $2,000 for damage done to the Capitol building. He will also serve three years of supervised release following the end of his prison term.