The ‘QAnon Shaman’ Tried to Lie His Way Out of Jail and It Totally Backfired

A federal judge said Jacob Chansley "blatantly lied" in a TV interview about his participation in the Capitol insurrection, and denied his request for a pre-trial release.
Jake Angeli (QAnon Shaman) apologizes for role in Capitol Riot, says Trump is 'Not Honorable'. zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx File Photo 1/6/21
Jake Angeli (QAnon Shaman) apologizes for role in Capitol Riot, says Trump is 'Not Honorable'. zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx File Photo 1/6/21

A judge has called out the “QAnon Shaman,” whose real name is Jacob Chansley, for going on TV and lying about his actions during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired on March 4, Chansley tried to justify his actions by saying he was simply walking behind the initial breach of the Capitol building and that Capitol police waved him and his fellow rioters inside. 


“That is the one very serious regret that I have, was believing that when we were waved in by police officers that it was acceptable,” Chansley said in the interview. But he also downplayed the seriousness of his actions that day. “My actions on January 6, how would I describe them? Well, I sang a song and that’s a part of Shamanism; it’s about creating positive vibrations.” 

Chansley faces two felony and four misdemeanor charges, including obstructing an official proceeding and violent entry and disorderly conduct— meaning he could face 25 years in prison.

His mother, Martha Chansley, was also interviewed by “60 Minutes” and also claimed her son walked into the Capitol with the authorities’ blessing. 

“I mean, the doors were open,” she said in the interview. “People were letting him in.”

Unfortunately for Chansley, video footage from Jan. 6 shows that’s not what happened, and in court documents Federal Senior Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that Chansley “blatantly lied” on national television.

In video footage captured by a journalist and cited by the court, however, Chansley can be seen, shirtless and draped in fur and topped with his horned headdress, leading a mob as others around him smash windows and cause severe destruction inside the Capitol building. 

“This video confirms that defendant did not, as defense counsel claims, enter the building ‘contemporaneously’ with the exiting by Capitol Police,” Lamberth writes in court documents. “Nor did he enter, as defense counsel represents, in the "third wave" of the breach. To the contrary, he quite literally spearheaded it.”

“At the same moment that rioters smash the glass and crawl through the windows, the video pans over to show a large group of rioters walking through an adjacent doorway into the Capitol building,” court documents say. 

“Included in that group is defendant, who is easily identifiable by his horned headdress. The government's video shows that the defendant blatantly lied during his interview with 60 Minutes+ when he said that police officers waved him into the building.”

Chansley was trying to negotiate a pre-trial release given what he’s calling an invitation into the Capitol. But having seen the videos — which the court obtained without Chansley’s knowledge — the judge is denying that request. Chansley’s trial has yet to be assigned a start date.