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What The Judge Told The Trumpist QAnon Insurrectionist

Yesterday, Judge Royce Lamberth rejected Jacob Chansley's request for release from jail while awaiting trial for his role in the attempted 1/6 coup. Chansley (AKA Jake Angeli), who went to Trump's rally and then stormed the Capitol dressed as a character from a Village People's video, is better known as the QAnon Shaman. An Arizona QAnon leader, he has pleaded not guilty to charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, violent entry and disorderly conduct.

Chansley, who had appealed-- unsuccessfully-- to Trump for a pardon, has been granted the right to have special vegan meals in jail and now claims that it is impossible for him to communicate privately with his attorney while he's incarcerated because his religion precludes him from being vaccinated.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Lamberth ordered that he remain jailed until his trial, citing his willingness to resort to violence and refusal to follow police orders during the siege as signals that he wouldn’t follow court-ordered conditions of release. The judge was likely displeased that Chansley has been promoting himself to the mass media (including 60 Minutes) and he said that Chansley doesn’t fully appreciate the severity of the charges against and found none of his "many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions" to be persuasive.

The judge wrote that Chansley carried a spear into the siege, used a bullhorn to encourage other rioters, profanely referred to then-Vice President Mike Pence as a traitor while in the Senate and wrote a note to the Pence saying, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Chansley, who disputed the note was intended to be threatening, also made a social media posting in November in which he promoted hangings for traitors.
“Reading that note in the context of defendant’s earlier promotion of the execution of ‘traitors’ invalidates the notion that defendant breached the Capitol merely to leave peaceful, political commentary on the Senate dais,” Lamberth wrote.
The judge sided with prosecutors who argued that the 6-inch (15-centimeter) spear mounted atop the flagpole carried by Chansley into the Capitol was a dangerous weapon. His attorney had characterized the spear as an ornament.
Chansley’s attorney also said his client was in the third wave of rioters who went into the Capitol. But the judge said video shows Chansley, who entered through Capitol through a doorway as rioters smashed nearby windows, “quite literally spearheaded” the rush into the building.

The judge wrote that he found "that no condition or combination if conditions of release will reasonably assure defendant's appearance as required or the safety of others and the community. Accordingly, the Court will DENY [his double emphasis] defendant's motion to revoke magistrate judge's order of detention."

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