The so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’ charged in the Capitol riots has broken his silence to claim that he stormed the Senate floor to ‘sing a song’ and stop people from stealing and vandalizing in the hallowed hall.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, 33, spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest in a 60 Minutes interview from a jail in Washington, DC, on Thursday as a judge prepares to rule on whether he should be released on bail before trial.
The Arizona native – who was pictured in the Capitol on January 6 sporting a horned headdress, face-paint, a Star-Spangled spear and a bullhorn – argued that he actually helped curb the chaos, not exacerbate it.
‘Well, I sang a song. That’s a part of shamanism. It’s about- creating positive vibrations in a sacred chamber,’ he said of his visit to the Senate floor.
‘I also stopped people from stealing and vandalizing that sacred space, the Senate. Okay? I actually stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the break room.
‘And I also said a prayer in that sacred chamber. Because it was my intention to bring divinity, and to bring God back into the Senate.’
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Jacob Anthony Chansley, the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’ spoke out for the first time since his arrest in the January 6 Capitol riots in an interview with 60 Minutes on Thursday (pictured)
Chansley – who was pictured in the Capitol on January 6 sporting a horned headdress, face-paint and a Star-Spangled spear – argued that he actually helped curb the chaos, not exacerbate it
Video included in Chansley’s indictment showed him standing at Vice President Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate and pumping his fists in the air.
When 60 Minutes correspondent Laurie Segall reminded that Chansley was not legally allowed to be in the ‘sacred chamber’, he asserted that he thought it was okay because police welcomed him in.
‘That is the one very serious regret that I have, was believing that when we were waved in by police officers, that it was acceptable,’ he said.
Chansley grew incredulous when Segall described his actions as ‘an attack on this nation’.
‘No, they were not, ma’am,’ he said. ‘My actions were not an attack on this country. That is incorrect. That is inaccurate, entirely.
‘I consider myself a lover of my country,’ he continued. ‘I consider myself a believer in the Constitution. I consider myself a believer in truth and our founding principles. I consider myself a believer in God.’
Chansley also expressed disappointment that Donald Trump didn’t give him a pardon before leaving office, saying that he thought the president ‘had our back’.
He added that he regrets storming the Capitol ‘with every fiber of my being’ but does not regret his loyalty to Trump.
‘Well, I sang a song. That’s a part of shamanism. It’s about creating positive vibrations in a sacred chamber,’ Chansley said in the 60 Minutes interview
When 60 Minutes correspondent Laurie Segall reminded that Chansley was not legally allowed to be in the ‘sacred chamber’, he asserted that he thought it was okay because police welcomed him in
Video in Chansley’s indictment showed him standing at Vice President Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate and pumping his fists in the air
Chansley is among more than 300 people who have been charged in connection with the Capitol insurrection that left five people dead and over 130 police officers injured.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on two felony and four misdemeanor counts, including violent entry and civil disorder.
A federal judge in DC is slated to hear arguments Friday on whether he should be released from jail ahead of his trial, a date for which does not appear to have been set.
Chansley (pictured in his mugshot) faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on two felony and four misdemeanor counts, including violent entry and civil disorder
In a filing on Monday, prosecutors argued that Chansley should not be released because he poses a danger to the community.
The prosecutors cited Chansley’s indictment, which accused him of holding a weapon as he confronted officers inside the Capitol, speaking about ridding the government of traitors and writing a threatening note to Pence which read: ‘It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.’
‘He cannot be trusted now to suddenly change course,’ prosecutors said.
Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, disputed those claims, saying that Chansley’s spear was an ornament, not a weapon, and that the letter he wrote to Pence wasn’t intended to be threatening.
Watkins also said his client is suffering from digestive tract difficulties, even though the jail has complied with his request for organic food.
The defense attorney has sought to cast blame for Chansley’s actions on Trump, claiming that his client was ‘duped’ into participating in the riot.
‘Mr Chansley is not alone. We all are compelled to be introspective about our role in creating and permitting an environment where believing the words of a president [is] criminally actionable,’ Watkins told DailyMail.com last month.
He argued that Trump had drawn Chansley into a web of lies, but said that Trump’s lack of action during the riot and failure to issue pardons had been a wake-up call to his client.
‘My client is understandably compelled to reconcile the words of the former president with the subsequent actions of the former president,’ Watkins said.
‘The reconciliation of a betrayal necessarily requires the bellying up to the bar by the betrayed to acknowledge their role in making themselves ripe for betrayal.’
A federal judge in DC is slated to hear arguments Friday on whether Chansley should be released from jail ahead of his trial. Pictured: A court sketch shows him in a video appearance in Phoenix at a pre-trial detainment hearing