We have all heard the story of what happened on January 6 at the White House.
It is perhaps one of the most covered news incidents of 2021.
While a bit overplayed, in my opinion, the incident has left many stuck in prison since that day. About 650 people were charged in relation to that day.
But one man, who willingly or unwilling became the face of what became known as the “January 6th Insurrection.”
Commonly known as the QAnon Shaman, Jacob Chansley has finally reached a deal on his charges after serving over 300 days in jail.
But what was he charged with, and how was his sentencing determined?
Let’s take a look.
The QAnon Shaman’s Roll on January 6th, 2021
Look, most people are well aware of what happened on January 6 already. But one man was thrust into the spotlight on that day. Chansley, a navy veteran, joined in the effort along with 10,000’s of others in what some say was an attempt to interrupt the certification of the electoral college for Joe Biden.
Sporting his Shaman attire, Chansley was an easy target for media outlets to pick up on. Replete with face paint, a tattoo-covered, naked upper torso, and a fur pelt. Along with a megaphone and flag. His appearance was unmistakable.
On that faithful day, Chansley started at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. And with others walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Building. And from there, Chansley entered into the U.S. Capitol Building.
According to the U.S. Government’s complaint, he “unlawfully broke into the U.S. Capitol Building in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power…”
At one point sat at the Senate Dais and made the following speech:
“Thank you Heavenly Father for gracing us with this opportunity…to allow us to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists, that this is our nation, not theirs. That we will not allow America, the American way of the United States of America to go down…Thank you for filling this chamber with Patriots that love you… Thank you for allowing the United States of America to be reborn. Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”-Defendant Jacob Chansley, January 6, 2021. From the Senate Dais inside the U.S. Capitol. A Qoute from GOVERNMENT’S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
Following the January 6 “insurrection,” the FBI contacted Chansley and asked to speak with him. On January 9, he voluntarily went to the field office in Phoenix, Arizona. According to court records, he openly talked to the investigators, without an attorney present, and soon gave them possession of all the items they requested, including his car.
On January 11, 2021, a Grand Jury indicted Chansley on two felonies and four misdemeanors. The original charges included “Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds” and “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority.”
In a plea deal reached in November, Chansley ultimately agreed to plead guilty to the Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, in violation of 18 USC 1512(c)(2).
The Government pushed for a sentence of 51 months, followed by three years of supervised release and $2,000 in restitution.
However, Chansley’s Defense pushed for a “significantly” lesser sentencing for his cooperation throughout the investigation. He was ultimately sentenced to 41 months and will likely get time served as well.
QAnon Shaman Helped Supply Footage of Stolen Government Documents
Among the cooperative efforts, Chansley made with the FBI, which are mentioned in court records. Is his assistance in helping the FBI secure classified documents that were stolen in the January 6 incident. An act in which he was not involved.
As cited in the Defense’s request for lesser sentencing:
“including voluntarily participating in debriefings and ensuring the procurement by the Government of much sought-after video footage depicting the theft by others of classified materials, unrelated and unknown to Mr. Chansley, on January 6, 2021.”
Charges Filled Upon Others over the January 6th Incident
The U.S. Government has charged approximately 650 individuals with similar charges in relation to the January 6 incident. These charges include:
- Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2),
- Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding Law Enforcement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111(a) and (b),
- Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a),
- Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building, in violation of 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e).
At this time, 90 have pleaded guilty to some of these charges.
January 6th and the QAnon Shaman At the End of the Day
The events that unfolded on January 6 shocked the nation and likely most of all those present that day. Wherever you stand with what happened on that day, American’s have a right to be heard. But that is an exercise better practiced in a Court of law rather than in the streets.
Unfortunately, when groups of individuals come together en masse, the message of each individual often gets lost in the mob’s mentality, which can result in what happened on January 6. Alternatively, the events may result in something more like the story of Kyle Rittenhouse.
At the end of the day, while voicing our concerns is essential. We must be careful that our message doesn’t get turned against us in our pursuit to express ourselves.