Jacob Chansley, the self-styled “QAnon shaman” who became one of the faces of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, has been sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison for his role in the riot. At a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison, although he will be given credit for the roughly 10 months he has already served.
Photographs of a bare-chested Chansley carrying a bullhorn and a spear adorned with the American flag in the halls of the Capitol became some of the iconic images of that day. The Justice Department says Chansley was among the first 30 rioters to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6 as the crowd overwhelmed police and pushed into the building. Chansley was arrested days later and indicted on six charges, two of which were felonies, and ordered detained pending trial. He ultimately struck a deal with the government and pleaded guilty in September to a single count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Chansley addressed the court for around 40 minutes, saying he has spent much of the time he’s been locked up reflecting on his life and his actions on Jan. 6, adding: “Men of honor admit when they’re wrong. Not just publicly but to themselves. I was wrong for entering the Capitol. I have no excuse. No excuse whatsoever. The behavior is indefensible.” Chansley admitted that he was guilty, but also said “I am not a violent man. I am not an insurrectionist. I am certainly not a domestic terrorist. I am a good man who broke the law. And I’m doing everything I can to take responsibility for that.”
Before announcing his sentence, Judge Lamberth told Chansley he believes that his remorse is genuine and heartfelt, but he also told Chansley that “what you did was terrible.” He said Chansley had made the right decision to plead guilty and take responsibility for his actions, instead of going to trial where he faced a much longer possible sentence.
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