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U.S. judge scolds ‘QAnon Shaman’ for appearing on ‘60 Minutes+’ without permission

Jacob Chansley, right, is confronted by Capitol Police while inside the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Chansley was arrested and charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, among other felony charges, days later.
Jacob Chansley, right, is confronted by Capitol Police while inside the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Chansley was arrested and charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, among other felony charges, days later. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

A federal judge chided the self-identified “QAnon Shaman,” who was part of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, for appearing in a “60 Minutes+” interview without permission.

During a detention hearing Friday, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia questioned whether Jacob Chansley appeared in the interview that aired Thursday without the required clearance from the U.S. Marshals Service, the detention facility or the judge. The judge also questioned whether Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, was deceitful in skirting proper authorization to appear on the show.

In what was billed as Chansley’s first interview since his arrest, he said that his actions were “not an attack on this country” and that he does not regret being loyal to former president Donald Trump. Chansley became one of the most distinct individuals arrested in the riot, photographed flexing near the vice president’s chair in the Senate while shirtless and wearing a headdress and face paint.

Watkins said he did make “independent arrangements” with “60 Minutes+” but denied conducting “subterfuge.” He said he assumed his client would be allowed to be captured on camera from his office.

A decision about Chansley’s detention is still pending.

Capitol riot suspect pictured at Pelosi’s desk screams ‘It’s not fair’ in courtroom tantrum

Chansley has been behind bars since he was arrested in his hometown of Phoenix on Jan 9.

In February, a judge ordered Chansley moved to a jail in Virginia that serves organic food after he claimed that nonorganic food was against his religion.

Chansley has been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building among other federal felony charges. He is among more than 300 charged in the Capitol riots that resulted in five deaths.

In a previous interview with The Washington Post, he said he danced, sang and prayed in the Capitol, drumming on the floor with his pole to “reclaim our nation.”

He also said he left a note for Vice President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

Trump supporter in horns and fur is charged in Capitol riot

On Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Paschall argued that Chansley is a danger to the community and should therefore remain jailed until trial. She said there was “ample evidence” that Chansley was carrying a spear while facing off with an officer inside the Senate chambers. She pointed to Chansley’s “60 Minutes Plus” interview as evidence of his still-standing belief “that the current government is not a legitimate government and that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.”

She argued that Chansley would not be capable of following conditions of release.

Watkins, meanwhile, painted his client as a nonviolent man misled and let down by Trump, whom he greatly admired. He highlighted Chansley’s lack of criminal history and said his client simply walked into the Capitol after police let him in. The judge and prosecutor pushed back.

“I am not belittling my client . . . but my client was wearing horns,” he said. “He had tattoos around his nipples. He wasn’t leading anywhere. He was a follower.”

Watkins also said that Chansley believes in ahimsa, a form of nonviolence toward living things, and denied that the flagpole he carried was a spear.

Chansley apologized last month for storming the Capitol, saying he regrets entering the building and that Trump “let a lot of peaceful people down.”

Chansley publicly requested — but did not receive — a pardon from Trump, an outcome with which he expressed disappointment in the “60 Minutes Plus+” interview. At one point, Chansley had offered to testify against Trump during his impeachment trial.

On Friday, Watkins cast the absence of a pardon as a turning point for Chansley.

“My client went from that point to expressing deep disappointment in the former president,” he said.

The Jan. 6 insurrection

Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. In what was likely its final hearing, the committee issued a surprise subpoena seeking testimony from former president Donald Trump. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.

Will there be charges? The committee could make criminal referrals of former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview.

What we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6: New details emerged when Hutchinson testified before the committee and shared what she saw and heard on Jan. 6.

The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.

Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6.

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