A federal judge has issued a ruling following a motion filed by “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley to vacate his Jan. 6 conviction.
Attorneys for Chansley filed the motion after a video clip played by then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson appeared to show Capitol Police officers escorting him through the building on the day of the riot.
“Prosecutors charged Chansley with multiple crimes, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and entering and remaining in a restricted building. Chansley pleaded guilty to one felony of obstructing an official proceeding and was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021,” The Daily Wire reported.
“After serving 27 months for his involvement in the Capitol riot, the self-proclaimed ‘evolutionary’ had his sentence cut short amid the security footage in question aired by” Carlson, the outlet continued.
According to POLITICO, Attorney William Shipley, representing the former January 6 prisoner, submitted a request to the court to withdraw and dismiss the case arguing that the footage in question “would have been favorable to Mr. Chansley at sentencing.”
“Our main goal was to simply force the government to explain why video evidence was not timely produced during a period defendants like Jake were being detained in custody,” he noted. “We still believe the government has not provided a sufficient justification in that regard.”
However, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth denied the motion in a 35-page ruling saying that Chansley’s claims “are without merit.”
“In fact, without Mr. Chansley’s apparently unequivocal acceptance of responsibility, the Court is confident that he would have received a higher sentence,” Lamberth wrote.
“In sum, Mr. Chansley cannot demonstrate that either the absence of certain terms in the plea agreement or the presence of the CCTV footage at sentencing would have resulted in even a ‘conceivable likelihood of a different result,’ much less a ‘substantial’ one,” he added. “Therefore, he has not established prejudice.”
In addition, the judge ripped Carlson’s airing of the footage as “ill-advised,” which he said was “replete with misstatements and misrepresentations” about the events on January 6.
“The Court finds it alarming that the host’s viewers throughout the nation so readily heeded his command,” he continued. “But this Court cannot and will not reject the evidence before it.”
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a memo to his staff following the airing of previously unseen security footage by Carlson, which showed police officers appearing to stand passively as a large crowd entered the Capitol that day.
Police Chief Tom Manger condemned the comments made during the airing of the footage on Carlson’st program, stating that it was “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions” about the riot of January 6, 2021, when a group of people breached the U.S. Capitol building, causing disruptions to lawmakers who were in the process of certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video,” Manger claimed. “The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments.”
Manger specifically objected to a segment that featured Capitol Police officers guiding Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” through the Capitol building and Carlson’s portrayal of them as “tour guides.”
He also expressed concern about Carlson’s emphasis on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who a medical examiner found had died of natural causes after suffering a stroke a day after the January 6 incident while protecting the Capitol, the Daily Wire reported.
In his memo, Manger thanked and praised members of the Capitol Police force, commending their efforts on January 6. “You fought like hell on January 6 and risked your lives to protect the Constitution and everything this country stands for,” he wrote. “You, along with our law enforcement partners, saved every member of Congress and their staff.