Jacob Chansley — the horned rioter and “QAnon Shaman” — is seeking Trump’s pardon after being charged with storming the Capitol last week. Chansley, who also goes by Jake Angeli, is now saying that he was acting on the president’s “invitation” when he and others breached the Capitol and carried out a deadly insurrection.
“[Chansley] accepted President Trump’s invitation to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol,” Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, said in a statement. “Mr. Chansley is an American; he served honorably in the U.S. military. He has zero criminal history. He is a lover of nature, routinely practices meditation, is an active practicer of yoga and eats only organic food.”
“He took seriously the countless messages of President Trump. He believed in President Trump. Like tens of millions of other Americans, Chansley felt — for the first time in his life — as though his voice was being heard.”
Watkins claims that Chansley surrendered peacefully to Capitol Police officers, warranting a pardon. The rioter was previously charged with two misdemeanors stemming from the attack and was recently also charged with civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted building and demonstrating in a Capitol building.
“My client had heard the oft-repeated words of President Trump. The words and invitation of a president are supposed to mean something,” Watkins continued. “Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr. Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president’s invitation with honorable intentions.”
Since the Jan. 6 riot, Chansley has been identified in numerous photos taken at past pro-Trump rallies. The FBI identified Chansley by his tattoos, several of which are tributes to the president, including bricks on his arms that reportedly refer to Trump’s border wall.
Chansley was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona after calling authorities and confessing to his crimes. He reportedly told investigators that he had traveled to the Capitol “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.”