(Trends Wide) — Jacob Chansley, the QAnon supporter who stormed the Capitol shirtless in a horned bearskin headdress, was sentenced Wednesday by US District Judge Royce Lamberth to 41 months in prison for obstructing the Electoral College vote on the 6th. from January.
He was also sentenced to 36 months of supervised release.
The Justice Department had called for Chansley to receive a harsh sentence as a way to set an example among the January 6 rioters, and prosecutors had positioned Chansley as an emblem of a barbarian mob.
As one of the first 30 agitators inside the building that day, he made his way to the Senate bench that then-Vice President Mike Pence had hastily vacated and left a note, according to his plea papers.
At one point during the sentencing hearing, Lamberth asked a few questions about whether Chansley had left Pence a note and whether he knew of other threats to Pence’s life from the crowd, and about his decisions that day.
“He became the image of the riots, didn’t he?” He told Chansley’s defense attorney. “For better or for worse, he became the very image of this entire event.”
A Justice Department prosecutor used multiple videos to show Chansley’s entrance to the Capitol building and the Senate chamber, screaming along with the crowd. “That is not peaceful,” said prosecutor Kimberly Paschall.
She characterized her role in the crowd as one of “chaos” and “terrifying”.
For more than 30 minutes, Chansley spoke with Lamberth about the impact jail has had on him and the guilt he feels for breaking the law.
He said that he had made a mistake when entering the Capitol on January 6 and that he is not an insurgent or a national terrorist.
His lengthy speech caught the judge’s attention, as Chansley summoned Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Shawshank Redemption, and outlined his desire to live his life as Jesus Christ and Ghandi.
“The hardest part of this is knowing that I am to blame. Having to look in the mirror and know, you really screwed up. Really, ”Chansley said.
“I was in solitary confinement because of me. By my decision. I broke the law … I should do what Ghandi would do and take responsibility, ”he said. “There is no yes, but in this regard, that is what men of honor do.”
Chansley hoped Lamberth would release him, now that he has already served 10 months in jail. He promised never to have to be incarcerated again.
Since his arrest in January, one of the first among the arrested rioters, prosecutors have positioned Chansley as emblematic of a barbaric crowd.
Since then, Chansley has gained fame as the “QAnon Shaman,” a figure known in the fringe movement online and for widely shared photos that captured him in face paint and a headdress inside the Senate chamber.
Lamberth had kept him in jail since his arrest, despite his multiple attempts to win sympathy and his release, and he will receive credit for the time he has already spent behind bars.
Other justices are likely to view Lamberth’s sentence as a possible benchmark, as Chansley is one of the first felony defendants among the more than 660 Capitol riot cases to be punished.
The Justice Department called for Chansley to receive a harsh sentence as a way to set an example among the January 6 rioters.
Images of Chansley at the Capitol went viral due to a strange appearance as he led others through the Capitol, yelling into a megaphone.
Chansley also carried an American flag on a spear pole, which prosecutors have characterized as a weapon.
After the riots and his arrest, Chansley apologized to then-President Donald Trump.
He also went on a hunger strike in an attempt to get organic food while in detention and spoke to “60 Minutes” from jail without permission. In September, Chansley pleaded guilty to a felony of obstructing Congressional certification of the 2020 vote.