The man known as the “QAnon Shaman” has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors after spending several months behind bars following his arrest for his conduct on Jan. 6, and no longer wants to be associated with the QAnon movement, his lawyer said Thursday.
Jacob Chansley, who entered the Capitol building and the chamber of the Senate during the Jan. 6 attack, has a plea hearing scheduled for Friday.
When HuffPost reached out to Chansley’s lawyer for details on the deal, Albert Watkins said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the details of the arrangement at this time. But he sent along a press release stating that Chansley “REPUDIATES THE ‘Q’ MONIKER” and no longer wanted to be associated with “Q.” Watkins — an eccentric lawyer who has compared Jan. 6 rioters to cultists who “drank the Kool-Aid” and said Capitol riot defendants are “fucking short bus people” — plans to hold a virtual press conference on Friday afternoon after Chansley’s hearing.
“Mr. Chansley, a long avowed and practicing Shaman, has repudiated the ‘Q’ previously assigned to him and requests future references to him be devoid of use of the letter ‘Q’,” Watkins said in the statement.
“The road leading up to the events of January 6 traversed years. The path charted by Mr. Chansley since January 6 has been a process, one which has involved pain, depression, solitary confinement, introspection, recognition of mental health vulnerabilities, and a coming to grips with the need for more self-work,” Watkins said. “It is imperative that patience and compassion be accorded those, who like Mr. Chansley, were non-violent, peaceful and possessed of genuine mental health issues which rendered them more vulnerable to the propaganda of the day but who, at the end of day, seek to be accountable for their actions.”
About 600 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. While the vast majority of the defendants are free until trial, several dozen of the defendants — including Chansley, who went through a mental health evaluation while behind bars — were ordered to be held in jail until their day in court.
Chansley’s documented conduct on Jan. 6 was less violent and destructive than many other defendants who were released until trial.
While the details of Chansley’s plea deal are unclear, the amount of time in prison that he could ultimately receive at sentencing might align with the amount of time he’s already been imprisoned. Last month, Capitol defendant Karl Dresch was sentenced to time served and released after spending six months behind bars. Like Chansley, Dresch had faced a felony count of obstructing an official proceeding for his conduct on Jan. 6. (Unlike Dresch, Chansley also faces an additional felony charge of civil disorder.)
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