A lawyer representing Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon shaman” who donned Viking horns and furs during the January 6th siege on the United States Capitol, insisted on Thursday that his client was “duped” by former President Donald Trump into committing sedition.
“Let’s roll the tape. Let’s roll the months of lies, and misrepresentations, and horrific innuendo and hyperbolic speech by our president designed to inflame, enrage, motivate. What’s really curious is the reality that our president, as a matter of public record, invited these individuals, as president, to walk down to the Capitol with him,” Albert Watkins said Thursday in an interview with Saint Louis, Missouri NBC affiliate KSDK.
“He regrets very very much having not just been duped by the president, but by being in a position where he allowed that duping to put him in a position to make decisions he should not have made,” Watkins said. “As to my client, the guy with the horns and the fur, the meditation, and organic food…I’m telling you that we cannot simply wave a magic wand and label all these people on Jan. 6 the same.”
Last week, Watkins explained to Law and Crime that he had petitioned the Trump Administration to pardon Chansley, although he admitted that they were not “holding [their] breath” anticipating clemency for “the guy with horns and a fur wrap.”
Watkins said that the “long-standing relationship” between Chansley and Trump “in my client’s mind” was grounds for a pardon.
“What this does is it permits my client to come the stark reality that he — while he may have been duped by the president — while he may have believed that he was doing what the president invited him to do — the president isn’t on his side. The nation is not on his side. And he’s going to have to stand up, or belly up to the bar, and ultimately hold himself accountable for what his role is,” Watkins said on Law&Crime Daily.
Chansley was indicted on January 8th for Civil Disorder, Disrupting an Official Proceeding, Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building, Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building, Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building, and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.