Jacob Chansley, better known as the horned and war-painted “QAnon Shaman” who was seen in pictures storming the US Capitol on January 6, says he has “forgiven” the US government for locking him up.
Chansley, in his mid-thirties, was released in March after serving about two years of a three-and-a-half-year sentence he was handed in November of 2021, having already served almost a year behind bars at the time.
This week, he appeared in a video message obtained by Democratic operative Ron Filipkowski, in which he appears to embrace a nonviolent message while still promising to continue spreading the “truth”. He also goes on to say that he has forgiven his “captors”, an apparent insinuation to the idea that he was being discriminated against or persecuted by the government as it sought to hold him accountable for his role in storming the Capitol with a violent mob.
The video posted by Mr Filipkowski is edited, and does not contain the full context of Chansley’s remarks. It wasn’t immediately clear where the video had originally been posted.
Chansley pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing a federal proceeding in late 2021 and received what was at the time the longest sentence that had been handed down in response to the January 6 attack; that record was later shattered by the sentencing of Oathkeepers leader Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison on Thursday.
The QAnon Shaman has reportedly been living in a halfway house since March.
In November of 21, an attorney for Chansley claimed that his client’s focus “is not social media… his focus is on ‘What do I need to do to commence the healing process?’”
“He is absolutely embracing being held accountable,” defence attorney Albert Watkins said at the time. “He is a man of discipline, he gets it, he understands what he was looking at, he understood the risks associated with trial.”