‘QAnon Shaman’ Moved to Federal Prison for ‘Forensic Evaluation’

Jacob Chansley, the self-anointed “QAnon Shaman”, is being transferred from the jail in Alexandria, Virginia, where he’s been awaiting his trial to Colorado federal prison where he’ll undergo a forensic evaluation, according to the Justice Department. The forensic evaluation process pairs the accused with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health experts who will evaluate his competency to stand trial.

Chansley was among hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol after Trump gave a fiery speech repeating his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. The mob interrupted the formal congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory and the riot left five people dead. Like many taken into custody after the attack, Chansley and his attorney are using excuses about his mental health that are close to being an insanity plea. Some of the insurrectionists have claimed they were “taken in” by a QAnon cult, others were convinced by the former guy, and one even cited “Foxitis” for the reason he became radicalized.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – DECEMBER 12: Trump supporter and QAnon follower Jake “The Q Shaman” Angeli attends to the “Stop the Steal” rally on December 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

But Chansley, who stood out among the rioters for being dressed as a buffalo warrior painted with the colors of the American flag, was among the first to begin using every excuse possible to attempt to evade responsibility. Chansley’s lawyer demanded an organic diet for his client after his mother complained he wouldn’t eat the food provided by the jail. They also first claimed Chansley is autistic, and his autism and lack of ability to ascertain certain social cues or discern between right and wrong led to his part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. But they then quickly moved away from using that narrative to shift the blame to Trump, and that Chansley was merely “answering the call of our president.”

In another incident, Chansley and his lawyer outright lied that he was carrying a flag pole with the American flag on it. The government argued that Chansley was carrying a “dangerous weapon.” Photos confirm he was carrying a spear.

Trump invited riot, says attorney
[Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images]
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said he determined that a “competency examination” of Chansley was warranted and ordered that a “psychological examination be conducted.” The judge said the examination should include an assessment as to whether Chansley cannot understand the criminal charges against him or assist in his own defense.

Chansley currently faces six federal charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct. Being found incompetent can potentially spare a defendant from being prosecuted. However, such a finding also would require the court to commit the person to a hospital in a federal prison for treatment to try to restore competency.

If a person’s competency cannot be restored and he or she cannot stand trial, there is still a chance the government could keep the defendant detained if he or she is deemed to pose a danger to the public.

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