The most infamous Capitol rioter just met his fate.
Of all the shocking images from the Jan. 6 insurrection that have since seared themselves into the national psyche, perhaps none has been quite so indelible as that of Jacob Chansley, the so-called “Q Shaman,” standing shirtless, his face painted in the colors of the American flag, his head covered in horned pelt hat, braying in the halls of Congress. Chansley, a long-time figure in the nebulous world of QAnon conspiracy-mongering back in his home state of Arizona, had become, for better or worse, the face of the insurrection attempt — and as a result, has now earned himself more than three years in prison.
Chansley was sentenced to 41 months behind bars by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on Wednesday, more than two months after pleading guilty to a single felony count of obstructing a congressional proceeding. His attorney described at the time the “pain, depression, solitary confinement, introspection, recognition of mental health vulnerabilities, and a coming to grips with the need for more self-work” his client had gone through since Jan. 6. Chansley’s sentence is among the strongest handed down to any of the Capitol rioters so far, despite landing at the low end of federal prosecutors’ recommendations of anywhere between 41 to more than 50 months in prison.
“If the defendant had been peaceful on that day, your honor, we would not be here,” prosecuting Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Paschall said in court ahead of Chansley’s sentencing.
“‘Time’s up, motherfuckers,’ is not peaceful, your honor,” Paschall added, quoting Chansley’s cries as he breached the Capitol building.
“I broke the law, and if I believe in freedom, if I believe in law and order ... I should take responsibility,” Chansley said, during his brief remarks before the sentence was handed down.
In a sentencing memo issued the week before his sentence was announced, Chansley’s attorney stressed his client’s mental health issues and uneven personal history in calling for the court to assess the full picture of a man now synonymous with the insurrection. “This case is about a remarkable, gentle, kind, smart, spiritual, non-violent young man,” the attorney wrote, “who has spent his life trying to overcome significant but secreted vulnerabilities, hardships, and societal neglect to self-educate scholastically, self-educate spiritually, self-navigate societally, and self-conclude that he is accountable for his actions, seeks to be held accountable, and wishes nothing short of the court recognizing same.”