QAnon Shaman “Regrets” Capitol Hill Riot Involvement

By Claire Hardwick

In the videos that have emerged from the Capitol Hill riot on January 6th, a few individuals captured the national attention. One of these individuals was Jacob Chansley, who is 33, and known as the “QAnon Shaman.” From the Senate chamber, he wore a horned hat and furs, his tattoos on full display. After his antics, he is now held in Phoenix, Arizona, and is looking at jail time. 

But his attorney, Albert S. Watkins, is arguing that the QAnon shaman was misled by President Trump. Chansley said that at the president’s direction, he chose to “walk down to the Capitol.” Chansley, who faces 25 years in prison, is not even granted bail. 

And while attendees at the Capitol Hill riot hoped President Trump would grant them pardons, their lives are now completely changed by their few hours in the Capitol. Chansley’s attorney said that Trump’s refusal to pardon the individuals was a “betrayal.” Watkins said, “My client is understandably compelled to reconcile the words of the former president with the subsequent actions of the former president.”

Watkins continued, “The reconciliation of a betrayal necessarily requires the bellying up to the bar by the betrayed to acknowledge their role in making themselves ripe for betrayal.” Watkins has been clear that Chansley viewed his actions as a direct result of the president’s words. He told the DailyMail, “Mr. Chansley is not alone. We all are compelled to be introspective about our role in creating and permitting an environment where believing the words of a president [is] criminally actionable,”

In an interview with KSDK-TV, Watkins continued the charge against President Trump. He said, “Let’s roll the tape. Let’s roll the months of lies, and misrepresentations and horrific innuendo and hyperbolic speech by our president designed to inflame, enrage, motivate.” said Watkins.  He continued, “What’s really curious is the reality that our president, as a matter of public record, invited these individuals, as President, to walk down to the capitol with him.”

Why this matters: While the Capitol Hill rioters believed they were acting to save the country and save President Trump’s presidency, they are now looking at decades in prison for their actions. As the nation recovers from the insurrection, there are questions to how guilty the president is in inciting the riot. Furthermore, all of these arrests are happening right before the Senate impeachment trial. Trump may face legal consequences from the Save America rally, and the events that followed.