Will justice be done in the case of Jacob Chansley? Mr. Chansley (the QAnon Shaman) was handed a near-four-year prison sentence for his role in the January 6 riot.
Chansley was smeared as a domestic terrorist by Democrats and the establishment media, his image as the poster child for a conservative movement run amok. We endured endless hyperbole, fake news, and outright fabrications about the January 6 riot for weeks. We also had some of the most historically illiterate lectures offered by liberals in recent memory; this riot wasn’t worse than Pearl Harbor of the 9/11 attacks. Chansley and hundreds of others who entered the Capitol Building were arrested, convicted of trumped-up charges, and handed years-long sentences. At its core, all these people did was trespass.
The 40,000-plus hours of security cam footage were never released to the public for obvious reasons: it didn’t fit the narrative they manufactured. The Left tried to paint the day as an Americanized ‘storm the Bastille,’ pure chaos. It’s rather dull footage of a so-called armed insurrection. But if Democrats controlled the House, it would remain under lock and key. That changed when Republicans retook control, and Speaker Kevin McCarthy handed the tapes to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
🚨BREAKING: Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building. pic.twitter.com/rikoRMWezF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
arlson dissected the footage, paying particular attention to Chansley, who was sought to be some figure akin to the Visigoths sacking Rome but was led around the Capitol by police officers, some of whom tried to open locked doors inside the building. There is not a single point where Chansley is arrested by police, even passing by several stationed in a hallway. Chansley even delivered a prayer to Capitol Police on the House floor.
Who else saw this footage? It does bring this whole incident into a new light. Apparently, not even members of the select committee tasked with investigating the riot saw the footage, an admission of gross negligence. Was Carlson responsible for what happened next? Who knows, but for now, Mr. Chansley has been released from prison (via The Blaze):
Jan. 6 rioter ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley secures early release from prison to halfway house, lawyer says https://t.co/IaZUjjOruv
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 30, 2023
As of Thursday, reports from the Bureau of Prisons indicate that Chansley, 35, has been moved from federal prison to a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. In September 2021, Chansley pled guilty to civil disorder and violent entry to the Capitol. He and his attorney even signed a statement claiming that he entered the building through a broken door, that he “was not lawfully authorized to enter or remain in the building,” and that he “entered the Gallery of the Senate alone.”
However, Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy recently released tens of thousands of hours of unedited footage of the events of January 6 to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In turn, Carlson aired just a brief portion of that footage a few weeks ago. That footage contradicted the claim that Chansley violently entered the Capitol and that he entered the gallery alone. Rather, Capitol police appeared to escort the unarmed Chansley throughout his time in the Capitol. When Chansley eventually entered the Gallery of the Senate, he prayed for the police who “allowed” them into “this building.”
“After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law abiding and enriching life,” Watkins said in a statement.
Though the announcement of Chansley’s release to a halfway house came just weeks after Carlson aired what he described as “clearly exculpatory” footage of Chansley in the Capitol, others claim that the timing is merely coincidental.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with media [or] public pressure,” said former federal prosecutor Neama Ramani, who is not affiliated with the case. “Despite the violent nature of the Capitol riots, most of the rioters had little to no criminal history.”
Ashli Babbitt was the only person killed inside the Capitol whose shooting remains controversial. It’s not about whether you agree with Chansley’s actions, it’s about due process of law, and if his lawyers didn’t have access to these tapes, then the conviction should be vacated. For now, he’s out of jail, which is the important part.