Rioter formerly known as ‘QAnon Shaman’ pleads guilty in Capitol attack

Click to play video: '‘I was effectively defenceless’: Officers at inquiry relive U.S. Capitol insurrection'
‘I was effectively defenceless’: Officers at inquiry relive U.S. Capitol insurrection
WARNING: This video contains strong language and graphic content. At a congressional inquiry in Washington, D.C., police officers went into harrowing detail about the deadly January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol. Jackson Proskow reports on their emotional testimony, and what these officers are calling for – Jul 27, 2021

QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of obstructing the proceedings of Congress, some eight months after he stormed the U.S. Capitol in furs and warpaint at the front of a pro-Donald Trump mob.

The man known as the QAnon Shaman also doesn’t want to be known as the QAnon Shaman anymore, his lawyer Albert Watkins said Thursday in a news release. Chansley “has repudiated the ‘Q’ previously assigned to him and requests future references to him be devoid of use of the letter ‘Q’,” Watkins wrote.

Chansley, 33, has been jailed without bond since January, though he has repeatedly made headlines with his comments, “insulting” legal arguments and organic dietary needs.

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He now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the charge, though he is likely to receive a shorter sentence due to his plea.

The Arizona native was a longtime supporter of QAnon, the fantastical conspiracy theory that imagines former U.S. president Donald Trump as a warrior for God against a satanic cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles in Hollywood and the Democratic Party. He claimed to have a change of heart after the events of Jan. 6, when a horde of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in an effort to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election win.

Trump spent months whipping up his supporters over the phantom menace of election fraud in a vote that he ultimately lost. He then rallied his supporters in Washington and urged them to “fight like hell” immediately before the riot on Jan 6. He continued to push falsehoods about election fraud that day, even after losing more than 60 cases in court.

Click to play video: 'Timeline of events as pro-Trump rioters cause chaos in U.S. Capitol'
Timeline of events as pro-Trump rioters cause chaos in U.S. Capitol

Many of those who attacked the Capitol were affiliated with far-right groups including QAnon and the Proud Boys.

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Five people died in the attack, including Ashli Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force veteran who had been radicalized by QAnon.

Chansley no longer wants anything to do with QAnon, his lawyer Watkins said. Watkins also said that imprisonment has been hard for Chansley, as he has dealt with “pain, depression, solitary confinement, introspection, recognition of mental health vulnerabilities, and a coming to grips with the need for more self-work.”

Watkins has captured public attention with his own past comments about the rioters, whom he described as “people with brain damage” in an interview in May.

Chansley initially faced six charges, including civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding, court documents show.

His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 17.

Hundreds of others still face charges for the Capitol attack.

With files from Reuters

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