The infamous Jan. 6th shaman/barbarian and his mother are back in the limelight thanks to a phone interview this week with Inside Edition in which they blamed the media for making him the face of the riot and somewhat blamed former President Donald Trump for having invited him to the Capitol in the first place.
Jacob Chansley, who’s been labeled the “QAnon shaman” and “barbarian,” was the guy who was seen casually strolling through the U.S. Capitol while dressed essentially like a barbarian.
Two months ago in mid-November, he was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role at the riot. As reported by CNN at the time, the Biden Department of Justice had purposefully asked for “a harsh sentence as a way to set an example among the January 6 rioters.”
He essentially wound up becoming the face of the riot. During the interview this week, which was conducted via a phone held up by his mother, Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero asked him how he feels about this.
“You’re a grown man. You chose to go to the Capitol that day. Many people look at you as the face of Jan. 6 and are appalled. What is your response to those people?” she said.
Chansley responded by pointing the blame right back at her.
“As far as being ‘the face,’ that’s something that the media made me. I didn’t make myself anything,” he said.
He also pushed back on the narrative that he’d acted violently, though he did express regret over not having done more to keep what was originally a “Stop the Steal” rally more peaceful.
“In retrospect, one thing I can say that I regret is not working to ensure that there was far more peace on that day. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have stepped in before any barricades were breached. I actually tried to, on more than one occasion, calm the crowd. But it just didn’t work,” he said.
According to his mother, he shouldn’t have been hit with a prison sentence — let alone such a lengthy prison — given his actual behavior (versus the portrayal of him).
“I feel really passionate about how wrong I think it is that he is even doing any time at all,” she said.
She also seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t have even trespassed into the U.S. Capitol had Trump not invited him to the “Stop the Steal” rally.
“He was invited to go to the Capitol, so he went. President Trump invited everybody to go there,” she said.
During his sentencing two months ago, Chansley had staunchly maintained that he was neither an insurrectionist nor a barbarian.
“I am in no way, shape or form a dangerous criminal. I am not a violent man, I am not an insurrectionist, I am not a domestic terrorist. I’m a good man who broke the law, and I’m doing all I can to take responsibility for that,” he’d said.
“My shamanic attire is designed to ward off evil spirits, not to scare people. I am nothing like these people that I have been incarcerated with. They’re acting like they’re in the Holiday Inn while they’re incarcerated.”
“He wasn’t violent, he wasn’t destructive, he wasn’t a planner, he wasn’t an organizer,” his attorney had reportedly added.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 18, 2021
However, what Chansley said about the other rioteres allegedly enjoying their stay behind bars casts great doubt on the legitimacy of his statements.
A number of the rioters have spoken out publicly about the harsh conditions they’ve faced. In September, one such rioter, Jonathan Mellis, wrote an emotional letter describing what he claimed was “inhumane and hateful treatment” behind bars.
“I write this from solitary confinement on September 15 with no clear explanation as to why I’ve been isolated or how long I will be here. I have been locked in this small concrete cell for over a month at this point. They call solitary confinement ‘the hole’. This is totally appropriate because I feel like I have been dropped to the bottom of a deep and dark hole in the ground and forgotten,” he wrote.
“I am alone. My mind is all I have to keep me company. And that can become quite a scary thing after weeks all alone. What makes this much worse is that I’m not told exactly why I was put down here or when this lonely torture will end.”
Chansley knows how this feels. When his Inside Edition interview first began, he was asked how he was feeling.
“Considering the fact that I’m not in solitary confinement anymore, I’m better than I was when I was in solitary,” he replied.
A month later in September, a federal judge reportedly said the civil rights of detained Jan. 6th rioters were being violated and vowed to bring this treatment to the attention of Attorney General Merrick Garland.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 14, 2021
That same month, another federal judge wondered aloud in court why federal prosecutors were treating the Jan. 6th rioters far more harshly than they’d treated the far more violent and destructive Black Lives Matter rioters of 2020.
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