'QAnon Shaman' from Capitol riot expected to plead guilty in deal with prosecutors
The man who became known as the “QAnon Shaman” is expected to enter a guilty plea in federal court this week in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to his attorney and the court docket.
The man, Jacob Anthony Chansley, is scheduled to appear for a plea agreement hearing at 11 a.m. ET Friday, according to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Chansley, 34, faces six charges, including felony counts of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, confirmed that his client is expected to plead guilty in court Friday.
“The Department of Justice, the Court, and the Defendant have worked diligently and collaboratively to permit a balancing of culpability with mental health vulnerability,” Watkins said by email. “The plea is the culmination of that collective effort.”
The details of the plea agreement have not been released.
Chansley’s image was widely circulated after the riot, when he was seen entering the Capitol wearing face paint and a furry horned and feathered hat while baring his tattooed chest. At the time, he was widely known as the “QAnon Shaman”; Watkins said he now rejects the title after some self-reflection following his federal court case.
“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.
Watkins told Reuters in July that Chansley had been diagnosed by Bureau of Prisons officials with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. A status update filed with the court July 6 said Chansley was undergoing a “competency evaluation,” the results of which have not been made public in court documents.
His attorney said in a statement Thursday that Chansley’s time since the riot included introspection and “coming to grips with the need for more self-work.”
Chansley had argued previously that he entered the Capitol only at the invitation of then-President Donald Trump and had previously referred to former Vice President Mike Pence as a traitor.
“The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win,” he said in an interview with NBC News the day after the riot.
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