The attorney who represented the QAnon Shaman in his trial for the January 6 storming of the Capitol has called for his client’s release after Tucker Carlson broadcast never-before-seen footage of the riot.
Carlson used his Fox News show Monday night to air clips showing the would-be shaman, Jacob Chansley, in Congress.
Chansley appears to be escorted through the building by Capitol police officers, while other officers allow the Trump supporter to pass, bare-chested and horns. Carlson used the footage to argue that the rioters were “tourists” and “mostly peaceful.”
Chansley pleaded guilty in September 2021 to counts of civil disorder and violent entry to the Capitol, among others. He was sentenced two months later to three and a half years in prison, with the new footage leading to claims that he was being unfairly portrayed as a violent intruder.
On Wednesday night, Chansley’s former attorney said he had not seen the footage Carlson broadcast, which the conservative news anchor said was “obviously exculpatory.”
Albert Watkins (right) represented Jacob Chansley in court. Chansley pleaded guilty, Watkins said, without knowing there was footage showing him at the Capitol
Chansley is followed from the Capitol by a police officer
“We have made extraordinary efforts on behalf of our client to place him in a position of knowledge,” said Albert Watkins, Chansley’s former attorney.
“That’s my duty as an agent of the court, to make sure he knew everything the government had, good and bad, to put him in that position, to make a learned, informed, voluntary decision about a lawsuit or take a plea.”
Watkins said it was shocking that the government knew Chansley was “not violent” but did not share the footage.
“The government knew it,” Watkins said.
“They knew Jake had been around all those cops. They had that video footage. I did not get it. It was not disclosed to me. It was not provided to me.
‘I asked for it. I have submitted the necessary pleadings for this. Whether I did or not, they had a duty, an absolute duty, without any discretion to provide it to me so that I could share it with my client.”
Watkins said Chansley “had tremendous intelligence,” noting that he had been diagnosed with mental health issues 15 years earlier.
Watkins said he was ‘very gentle; very, very eloquent.’
He added, “It’s a tragedy. What has happened is truly a dagger to the heart of our American justice system.
‘We can’t allow it.
“This is about our justice system being so compromised that the integrity and core of what we wore as a badge of honor for the entire history of our country has been made a disgusting mess by a runaway Justice Department.”
Tucker Carlson released footage Monday night from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including clips showing the “QAnon Shaman,” Jacob Chansley (above), apparently being “escorted” through the building
Chansley, with his megaphone, is seen at the Capitol on January 6, 2021
Carlson defended the rioters on Monday.
“They were orderly and meek,” Carlson said of those storming the Capitol. ‘These were not insurgents; they were tourists.’
Carlson said they “revere the Capitol, obviously,” noting that they took selfies and “lined up in neat little lines.”
Deadly rebellion. Everything about that sentence is a lie,” he said.
“Very little around January 6 was organized or violent.
“Surveillance videos from the Capitol show mostly peaceful chaos.
Chansley, a 33-year-old Navy veteran from Arizona, was one of the most high-profile figures to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
He was sentenced to four years in prison for ‘obstructing an official procedure’.
In the footage, Chansley appears to be guided by an official as he wanders around the Capitol.
He passes a line of riot police, who make no move to stop him.
They then escort him to various entrances to the room that appear to be locked, eventually finding him an open door through which he disappears.
“Virtually every moment of his time in the Capitol was captured on tape,” Carlson said.
“The tapes show that the Capitol Police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his guides.’
Carlson also showed the moments after Officer Brian Sicknick was confronted by the rioters.
Sicknick, 42, died on January 7 – the day after the riot.
Brian Sicknick is seen shortly after the Capitol was breached. Carlson said he looked “healthy and vital.”
Sicknick, who died of a stroke on January 7, is seen performing his duties during the riot
Capitol rioter Julian Khater (pictured left) was sentenced to 80 months in prison for his role in the pepper spray attack of police officer Brian Sicknick (pictured right), who died the day after the January 6, 2021 riot
In April 2021, the DC medical examiner ruled that Sicknick, who was injured during the confrontation with rioters, suffered a stroke and died of natural causes.
“To this day, media accounts describe Sicknick as someone who, I quote, was ‘killed’ on January 6,” Carlson said.
“The video we watched proves that to be a lie.”
Carlson said the officer was “healthy and vital” and noted that he was wearing a helmet.
“So it’s hard to imagine he died from a head injury,” he said.
“Whatever happened to Brian Sicknick was clearly not a result of violence he endured at the entrance to the Capitol.
“This tape puts an end to the most powerful and politically useful lie the Democrats have told us about Jan. 6.”
There have been multiple deaths related to the riot, including four Trump supporters — one of whom, Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by Capitol police.
Trump supporters walk through the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Carlson described them as “tourists”
Carlson further suggested that alleged Capitol Rioter Ray Epps — pictured wearing a red Trump cap — was actually an FBI agent sent to foment violence. Epps denies his claims
Four officers died by suicide in the days and weeks following the riot.
There have also been about 1,000 arrests.
The footage comes as Fox News continues to contest a $1.6 billion lawsuit brought against the broadcasting giant by Dominion, which made voting machines for the 2020 election.
Fox is being sued over claims that the network endorsed theories that the company’s voting machines were rigged to deliver a Biden win.
The broadcaster’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, was recently ousted over the lawsuit, saying he “would have liked (Fox) to have made a stronger denunciation of the stolen election claims.”
Fox News denies Dominion’s claims.