Jacob Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, the self-described “QAnon Shaman” who took part in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, now tells the media he regrets his role in the uprising. Through his attorney, Chansley claims he feels “duped” by Donald Trump, and fingers the former president as the cause of the rioting.
Chansley became an emblem of the Capitol riots which aimed to disrupt and overturn certification of the 2020 Election. His flamboyant dress–horns, animal fur, and body paint–made him one of the most bizarre figures in the seditious riot perpetrated by Trump supporters, QAnon conspiracy theorists and far-right white supremacists. He had previously lobbied Donald Trump for a pardon from any charges in connection with the insurrection prior to Trump’s leaving office.
Now, in a statement given to NBC affiliate KSDK, Chansley’s attorney Al Watkins said his client was caught up in the rhetoric of Donald Trump, and regrets his involvement in the riot.
“He regrets very very much having not just been duped by the President, but by being in a position where he allowed that duping to put him in a position to make decisions he should not have made,” Watkins said. “As to my client, the guy with the horns and the fur, the meditation and organic food…I’m telling you that we cannot simply wave a magic wand and label all these people on January 6th the same.”
Police arrested Chansley on January 9 in connection with the riots. Film footage and photographs widely circulated within the media show him as a prominent member of the seditious forces, at one point even standing on the dais of the House of Representatives. Federal prosecutors also charge that Chansley left a note on the desk of then-Vice President Mike Pence, which read “justice is coming.”
A failed actor and former Naval seaman, Jacob Chansley has a long history of espousing conspiracy theories. He published two books confronting the “deep state” under pseudonyms, as well as took part in far-right and QAnon rallies around the country. He also claims that television and radio are means of mind control. At the time of his arrest, he lived with his mother in Arizona and did not appear to have a regular job.
The Capitol insurrection of January 6 has resulted in the second impeachment of Donald Trump, as well as the arrests of more than 125 people at the time of this writing.