The lawyer for the “QAnon shaman” from the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol disturbance admitted his client is guilty of trespassing during the breech of Congress, but little else except for “winning the best costume contest of the day.”
Attorney Albert Watkins called Jacob Chansley a peaceful man who was one of the most visible people during the Jan. 6 breech for his bare-chested appearance in bison horns and fur. He was photographed by many sitting in the Senate president’s chair with an American flag. Watkins said he actually helped diffuse the situation by calling for the protesters to disperse and leave.
“There’s 10 million miles of video footage of my client,” Watkins said on Newsmax TV’s “Greg Kelly Reports” on Wednesday. “None of it displays anything that is resembling violent, destructive. He wasn’t armed. He wasn’t shrouding his identity. In fact he was the most visible person there. He won the best costume contest of the day.
“But he also helped police. He called for everyone to leave once President (Donald) Trump announced that it was time to go home. This man is a peaceful man. He’s a gentle man.”
“It’s not the sign of someone you need to be afraid of.”
The Arizona-born Chansley is charged with a host of federal violations: civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building. Watkins said he does not blame Trump for causing him to enter the capitol.
Watkins, who said Chansley has admitted he trespassed, indicated the raft of charges – which could result in a total of 20 years in prison – was overkill.
“At the end of the day, you can add all those up, I try this case,” Watkins said. “If my client isn’t handled appropriately and handled with respect for the totality of the circumstances, bring it on. Let’s try it. But the fact of the matter is my client has owned what he’s done. There’s video footage all over.
“Has my client trespassed? Yes. Was he conspiratorial? No. Was he trying to overthrow the government? No. Was he an insurrectionist? Trying to lead a coup? Are you kidding me? The guy is wearing horns and fur. My dog could garner more following faster than my client, who is a delightful young man. He needs to go back home, write books, poetry, do art, make pots and do his online Shaman thing.”
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