Judge orders psych eval for Capitol rioter ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley
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A federal judge has ordered Jacob Chansley, the Jan. 6 Capitol rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman,” to undergo a psychological evaluation.
There is “reasonable cause to believe that a competency examination” for Chansley is warranted, wrote Judge Royce Lamberth of the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Chansley, 33, who also went by the name Jake Angeli, gained attention for wearing a horned helmet and red, white and blue face paint and carrying an American flag at multiple protests around his hometown of Phoenix before the Capitol riot. The bare-chested activist was a prominent figure in videos and photos taken during the insurrection, when he made it to the Senate floor, where he allegedly left a note for former Vice President Mike Pence.
He was arrested just three days after the riot, and refused to eat non-organic food while he was locked up. In March, he told “60 Minutes” that he did not attack the country, but was merely trying to inject some “positive vibrations” in the Senate on Jan. 6, where he said he “sang a song”.
“And I also said a prayer in that sacred chamber,” Chansley said in the interview. “Because it was intention to bring divinity, and to bring God back into the Senate.”
Chansley’s lawyer has argued that former President Trump deserves some blame for his client’s actions.
In a controversial interview with Talking Points Memo published Tuesday, the attorney, Albert Watkins, also said his client had Asperger’s syndrome and said that Chansley’s mental state, along with what he termed Trump’s “propaganda” efforts, would play a role in his defense.
“A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all f—ing short-bus people,” Watkins told the news outlet. “These are people with brain damage, they’re f—ing retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.” He also claimed Chansley’s mental state is deteriorating while he awaits trial in a federal lockup.
Lambeth ordered that Chansley be taken to an appropriate facility for his pysch examination for no longer than 30 days.
The evaluation will determine whether he is “presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense,” the order said, citing federal law.
Chansley was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. More than 400 people have been charged for participating in the attack.
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