The “QAnon Shaman” is requesting a pardon from President Donald Trump after being charged for illegally entering the Capitol, claiming Trump effectively “invited” him into the building.
The so-called shaman, who is actually a 33-year-old man named Jacob Chansley, has become a viral symbol of the Capitol riot after photos emerged of him participating in the events while adorned with Viking horns, deer fur and face paint.
Chansley was arrested Saturday in Arizona and charged with civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, and demonstrating in the Capitol building, according to KMOV. He has since made headlines for refusing to eat until he is provided with a diet of organic food in jail.
Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, claimed in a statement that his client “accepted President Trump’s invitation to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.”
“Mr. Chansley is an American; he served honorably in the U.S. military. He has zero criminal history. He is a lover of nature, routinely practices meditation, is an active practicer of yoga and eats only organic food. He took seriously the countless messages of President Trump. He believed in President Trump. Like tens of millions of other Americans, Chansley felt — for the first time in his life — as though his voice was being heard.”
“My client had heard the oft-repeated words of President Trump,” Watkins continued. “The words and invitation of a president are supposed to mean something. Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr. Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president’s invitation with honorable intentions.”
During a glitchy interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo, Watkins claimed Chansley walked through doors that had been held open by Capitol Police.
“My client did not break into the Capitol,” said Watkins. “My client had the doors to the Capitol held for him by Capitol Police. My client did not shroud his face in secrecy, he wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest. My client was not armed, he didn’t have zip ties. My client fought, or was in the military, served honorably. No criminal background whatsoever. And he, like a lot of other disenfranchised people in our country, felt very, very, very solidly in sync with President Trump. They felt, he felt, like his voice was for the first time, being heard.”
Claiming Chansley hung on Trump’s every word, Watkins said, “He felt like was answering the call of our president.”
At least one member of Congress has demanded answers after video emerged last week depicting Capitol Police apparently holding the doors to the complex open as protesters enter the building. As The Daily Wire reported:
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) demanded answers Friday after video emerged on social media that seemingly depicts Capitol Police opening the doors to pro-Trump protesters and allowing them to ascend the steps to the Rotunda.
Tweeting out the video from OAN reporter Christina Bobb, Roy said, “We need answers from the Capitol Police and Congressional leadership. Now.”
The video shows demonstrators entering the Capitol, shuffling through the hallway, and making their way up the stairs as alarms sound and officers stand aside. One of the officers says, “I disagree with it, but…” The rest of the officer’s statement is unclear.
We need answers from the Capitol Police and Congressional leadership. Now. https://t.co/xJ2Yvh0qjh
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) January 8, 2021
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