‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley Pleads Guilty in Capitol Riot Deal

“QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty Friday to a criminal charge related to his role in the January 6 Capitol riot after striking a deal with prosecutors.

In a hearing in federal court in Washington, DC, Chansley and his attorney Albert Watkins entered a guilty plea for the second count of a six-count indictment, admitting to obstructing Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Chansley was among the most visible members of the insurrection, donning Viking-style horns, face paint, and fur pelts as he stormed the US Capitol building while Congress voted to certify now-President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump mobbed the building after he gave a speech a short walk away, falsely saying he won the election and that then-Vice President Mike Pence should block the certification.

Chansley was arrested just days after the riot, and has been held in jail in the eight months since. Watkins said Friday that Chansley spent most of that time in solitary confinement, up to 23 hours per day, despite not being violent.

Prior to Friday’s hearing, Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered a mental evaluation for Chansley to see if he would be fit to stand trial.  The evaluator said he would be competent, Lamberth said.

Chansley appeared to make comments about the judge over the course of that evaluation, and apologized for any “offense” he may have given.

“I am very appreciative of the court’s willingness to have me and my mental vulnerabilities [examined],” Chansley said Friday. “I hope your honor certainly didn’t take any offense by anything I said. It was nothing personal whatsoever.”

Lamberth said he took no offense.

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