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‘QAnon Shaman’ To Stay In Jail Pending Trial, Judge Orders : NPR

Jacob Chansley, photographed during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, screams “Freedom” inside the Senate chamber following the breach of a mob during a joint session of Congress.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jacob Chansley, photographed during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, screams “Freedom” inside the Senate chamber following the breach of a mob during a joint session of Congress.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Monday that the so-called “QAnon Shaman” must remain in jail pending his trial for his role in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol because he remains a threat to the public.

Judge Royce Lamberth said, in his order rejecting Jacob Chansley’s request for release, that “no condition or combination of conditions” would ensure Chansley’s return to court if he were released.

Lamberth said Chansley believes his actions during the siege of the Capitol, an attack in which five people died, were peaceful. That mindset, Lamberth wrote, shows “a detachment from reality.”

“Defendant characterizes himself as a peaceful person who was welcomed into the Capitol building on January 6th by police officers,” Lamberth wrote in the order. “The Court finds none of his many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions persuasive.”

A shirtless Chansley was photographed inside the U.S. Senate chamber. He wore attention-grabbing red and blue face paint, an animal fur headdress, and carried a flag pole with a speared top.

He was arrested in January and has pleaded not guilty to charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, violent entry, and disorderly conduct.

Federal prosecutors describe Chansley as a leader within the QAnon conspiracy movement, which promotes baseless claims that former President Donald Trump is fighting a global system of powerful pedophiles among the elite and powerful in U.S. government.

Chansley’s lawyer argued for his client’s pre-trial release citing President Biden’s inauguration and the fact that COVID-19 restrictions in jail make it “impossible” for the two to communicate privately. His attorney argued that Chansley’s faith precludes him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lamberth declined to release him and focused, in part, on the fact that Chansley stormed the Capitol building with a dangerous weapon. Chansley’s attorney described it as a flagpole with a “spear finial.”

Lamberth noted Chansley’s refusal to listen to U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers during the breach as proof that, if released, he wouldn’t comply with conditions of his release or follow orders from police.

Additionally, the judge said Chansley’s own language on social media and during the Capitol riots can be perceived as threatening and promising future violent actions. That included comments Chansley made supporting the hanging of “traitors,” according to the judge’s ruling.

One of those threats was directed at former Vice President Mike Pence. Details from court documents say Chansley scrawled on a paper Pence left behind when he fled the Senate chamber during the siege. Chansley wrote, “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming.” He then repeated that phrase to a reporter filming inside of the Senate chamber that day.

Chansley called the FBI in the days following the insurrection and said he was glad he entered the Senate chamber and said that Pence was a “child trafficking traitor.”

Lamberth, in his conclusion wrote: “These are not the actions of a person who is shy about breaking the law.”

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