Prosecutors recommend 51-month sentence for ‘QAnon Shaman’

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Jacob Chansley during the Capitol riot in Washington. Chansley pleaded guilty on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, to a felony obstruction charge. He carried a flagpole topped with a spear into the insurrection, yelled into a bullhorn as officers tried to control the crowd, posed for photos on the Senate dais and wrote a note to then-Vice President Mike Pence that prosecutors have said was threatening. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (The Hill) – Federal prosecutors are recommending a 51-month prison sentence for Jacob Chansley, the Capitol rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman” for his outlandish outfits.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday, prosecutors said they “cannot overstate the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct as a one of the most prominent figures of the historic riot on the Capitol.”

In addition to the prison term of more than four years, the government is asking for three years of supervised release and $2,000 restitution.

This undated file image provided by The Alexandria (Va.) Sheriff’s Office shows Jacob Chansley, who pleaded guilty on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, to a felony obstruction charge for his part in the Capitol riot. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

Chansley became one of the most recognizable figures from the riot as he paraded through the Capitol shirtless, wearing a hat with horns and his face painted red, white and blue. He pleaded guilty in early September to obstruction of an official proceeding, a charge that comes with a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Earlier this year, Chansley went on a hunger strike and asked former President Trump for a pardon.

Prosecutors say Chansley was among the first 30 rioters to enter the Capitol. He entered the building at 2:15 p.m. until he was escorted out of the east side about an hour later.

While inside the Capitol, Chansley entered the Senate Gallery at roughly 2:52 p.m. and scaled the Senate dais.

“After the events of the day, the defendant gave multiple interviews to media in which he espoused his belief that he did nothing wrong,” prosecutors wrote. “The severity of his actions, and respect for the laws of this country, must be impressed upon him.”

Chansley is scheduled to be sentenced next Wednesday. His attorney, Albert Watkins, also filed a memorandum on Tuesday asking that his client only be sentenced to the time he’s already served in jail.

Chansley has been detained since his arrest in January. Watkins argued that Chansley has served more than 300 days in solitary confinement and suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks while locked away despite being nonviolent.

“It is time for the Shaman to start on his journey to freedom — not from jail, but from mental health infirmities of significance,” Watkins said. “It is time for Mr. Chansley to commence his journey from within.”

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