- The QAnon Shaman is requesting pretrial release after weeks in solitary confinement, court records say.
- Counsel for Jacob Chansley says he’s had “significant” digestive tract issues since being jailed.
- The pretrial release motion is transparent in its blame of former President Donald Trump.
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The QAnon Shaman is a published author. You can buy his books on Amazon.
The QAnon Shaman has been known to “capture and release” insects rather than kill them.
And the QAnon Shaman reflected on his life choices when former President Donald Trump pardoned rapper Lil’ Wayne at the end of his presidency last month.
These bizarre anecdotes are found in new court documents filed by counsel for the QAnon Shaman — also known as Jacob Anthony Chansley — on Tuesday, in which his lawyer seeks a pretrial release for his now-infamous client.
Adorned with horns, a headdress, and face paint, Chansley quickly became one of the most recognizable rioters at the January 6 Capitol insurrection, photographed with his bullhorn and flagpole in various locations throughout the building that day.
He was arrested days later in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors related to his role in the deadly attack. While many of his fellow rioters have been granted pretrial release, Chansley has remained in federal facilities since his arrest on January 9, court records say.
COVID-19 restrictions have relegated Chansley to solitary confinement for the entirety of his detainment, according to his lawyer, Al Watkins.
Earlier this month, he made headlines yet again when his attorney announced Chansley had lost 20 pounds and hadn’t eaten in a week because his religious beliefs prohibited him from eating non-organic food, and organic food wasn’t being served in jail.
In a video court hearing, Chansley told a judge that his body suffers when he eats food that is not “made by God.”
A federal judge eventually ordered the Washington, DC, jail to feed Chansley an organic diet.
But even with the accommodations, Chansley’s attorney said in the court documents filed Tuesday that his client has continued to suffer “significant” digestive tract issues for which medical counsel has been sought, though he noted that Chansley is appreciative of efforts being made to try and meet his dietary needs.
Chansley’s “longstanding status as a practicing shaman” also precludes him from receiving any vaccinations, including the COVID-19 shot, documents say, and the pandemic has made “meaningful, unmonitored” communication between Chansley and his counsel nearly “impossible.”
Watkins writes in the motion that these facts alone should make Chansley eligible for temporary release, though the attorney offered additional arguments, emphasizing Chansley’s cooperation during the initial investigation.
According to court documents, Chansley returned home to Phoenix following the riot on January 7 and was advised that the FBI wanted to talk to him. Watkins said Chansley was “immediately and fully forthcoming” and identified himself in pictures from the riot.
Chansley continued to speak “openly and honestly” and even allowed officials to inspect his car which, at the time, housed his horns, court records say.
“He did so possessed of the genuine belief he had done nothing wrong,” Watkins writes.
During Chansley’s detention hearing, officials reportedly argued he was dangerous, highlighting his use of the “spear” he was seen holding in photos from the insurrection.
The court documents spend a considerable amount of space detailing the government’s “mischaracterization” of the “flagpole” Chansley was holding as a “spear.” Counsel argues the flagpole Chansley carried was adorned with a “finial” — an ornament at the top — which “dates back to Native Americans, a fact consistent with the Shamanic faith of the Defendant.”
Later in the motion, Watkins argues that similar flagpoles exist in government buildings around the country which “gives rise to the inevitable conclusion that the Government must not be too concerned that a member of the public will use the flagpole…as a weapon, otherwise they would not employ same (sic) across the country in Federal Government Buildings.”
In the weeks since the insurrection, Chansley has been one of the most outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump, and the release motion is transparent in blaming Trump for inciting the mob.
Chansley offered twice to testify against the former president during his impeachment trial.
“But for the actions and the words of the president, [Chansley] would not have appeared in Washington, DC to support the president, and, but for the specific words of the then-president during his January 6 2021 speech, the Defendant would not have walked down Pennsylvania Avenue and would not have gone into the US Capitol building,” the motion reads.
Some additional findings in the 74-page pretrial release motion
- Chansley asked then-President Trump for a presidential pardon multiple times but was ultimately not granted one. When the former president pardoned rapper Lil’ Wayne, “the Defendant was compelled to reconcile his prior faith in former President Trump with the actions and words of President Trump.”
- Court records say Chansley’s counsel reached out to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to obtain the pardon.
- Chansley has published two books (his counsel includes the Amazon information pages of the two works as case evidence) and his lawyer described them as “one fiction and one being what might best be described as misguided musings.”
- Chansley left a note for Vice President Mike Pence while in the Capitol building, writing “it’s only a matter of time justice is coming.” His counsel argues those words came directly from Trump and were in no way meant as a threat to Pence by Chansley.
- In the interest of full disclosure, Chansley wanted it noted that he received a speeding ticket somewhere in the state of Oklahoma on his return trip from the riots but has thus far been unable to address it “by virtue of his incarceration.”