A bare-chested man adorned with face paint, a fur coat, and a Viking-horned headdress was lording over one of the highest chambers of American political power. The images made clear that Wednesday afternoon’s coup attempt was more than an inept try at a government takeover—it was, self-consciously, a spectacle.
The man dubbed the “QAnon Shaman” is 32-year-old Arizona native Jake Angeli, a now-infamous American icon and the face of the would-be QAnon coup who is wanted by law enforcement.
“No, I’m not worried at all,” said Angeli in an interview with VICE News about the prospect of being arrested. He said he had personally reached out to the FBI. “I contacted the FBI,” he said. “The investigator just wanted to know what the scoop was.”
Angeli, who is on his way back home to Arizona, said he has a meeting with agents in the works.
On Wednesday, when a mob of thousands stormed Capitol Hill—among them neo-Nazis, conspiracists, and all manner of far-right extremists—Angeli was right in the thick of the invaders who illegally and violently entered Congress, sending senators and congresspeople into hiding. The day's violence would claim the lives of at least five people, including a woman who was shot by police entering Congress and a police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.
But despite the bloodshed and widespread national shame over this week’s violence in Washington, D.C., Angeli regrets nothing.
“I’m quite proud of my participation,” he said. “I’d like to think I was an observer of history being made right in front of me.”
On Thursday night President Trump, who directed his followers’ attempt to prevent Congress from validating the election win of President-elect Joe Biden, finally conceded.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20," said the president in a televised address.
As for Angeli, he plans on being in the nation’s capital for Biden’s inauguration on January 20, which has already been earmarked by far-right extremists as a date of protest.
“I would certainly like to be there,” he said. “I’m making plans to go, but everything is in the making.”