Far right social media sounded triumphant yesterday. There were posts galore from Crazyville taking credit for the routine early release (to a halfway house on Wednesday) of the QAnon Shaman. As you can probably imagine, Marjorie Traitor Greene was especially vocal and self-congratulatory.
But Traitor Greene and Tucker Carlson had nothing to do with Jacob Chansley getting out 14 months early. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 41 months in prison. He only served 27 months. Keith Griffin reported that “Chansley was transferred from FCI Stafford federal prison in Arizona to community confinement in the Phoenix area… a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) spokesman confirmed in a statement to DailyMail.com on Thursday. The spokesman declined to comment on the reason for the transfer, but pointed generally to federal laws that allow for good-conduct sentence reductions, as well as release to a halfway house for the final 12 months of a sentence.”
A former federal prosecutor unconnected with the case said it was doubtful public pressure played a role in Chansley's transfer, noting the move appears 'kind of routine' under BOP guidelines.
…The Bureau of Prison confirmed that Chansley is in the custody of the Residential Reentry Management field office in Phoenix, which contracts with halfway houses to help inmates prepare to reenter society. His release date is set for May 25.
Federal inmates can receive a 15 percent reduction in their prison sentence for good behavior behind bars, and can also serve the final 12 months of their sentences in halfway houses at the discretion of the Bureau of Prisons.
…In recent weeks, prominent figures including billionaire Elon Musk had called for Chansley's release, citing new footage that appeared to show him being 'escorted' by cops inside the Capitol during the riot.
However, former federal prosecutor Neama Ramani, the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told DailyMail.com that it was unlikely the intense scrutiny on Chansley's case had any impact on his early release.
'I don't think it has anything to do with media [or] public pressure,' said Ramani, who is not connected with the case.
He noted that release of inmates to halfway houses for the final 12 months of their sentences was 'kind of routine for the Bureau of Prisons,' particularly for inmates without a lengthy criminal history.
'Despite the violent nature of the Capitol riots, most of the rioters had little to no criminal history,' said Ramani.
…Carlson used his Fox News show to broadcast clips showing Chansley inside the US Capitol.
Chansley appears to be escorted inside the building by Capitol Police officers, while other officers allow the chest-baring, horn-wearing Trump supporter to pass.
On Carlson's broadcast, Chansley's former lawyer said he had not been shown the new footage, which the conservative news anchor said was 'clearly exculpatory'.
Carlson used the footage to argue that the rioters were 'sightseers', and 'mostly peaceful'.
However, other evidence omitted by Carlson shows that Chansley entered the Capitol without permission, was repeatedly asked to leave the building, and was not accompanied by cops at all times.
For instance, a statement signed by signed by Chansley and his attorney contradicts the suggestion that he was 'escorted' by cops throughout the riot.
The statement admits that Chansley entered the Capitol through a broken door as part of a crowd that 'was not lawfully authorized to enter or remain in the building' and that he was one of the first 30 rioters inside.
It also notes that although officers asked Chansley and others multiple times to leave the Capitol, he did not comply and actively urged on his fellow rioters.
The statement describes Chansley's interactions with officers during the breach, but also points out that he 'entered the Gallery of the Senate alone.'
Watkins has previously said that his former client disavows the 'QAnon' conspiracy theory, and prefers to be known simply as 'the Shaman'.