'QAnon Shaman' pleads guilty to felony charge for role in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty to unlawfully obstructing an official proceeding.

September 3, 2021, 4:52 PM

The Arizona man seen sporting a Viking helmet and fur vest during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count related to his participation in the riot.

Jacob Chansley, the self-proclaimed "QAnon Shaman" who entered the Senate chamber and left an ominous note on a desk for then-Vice President Mike Pence, pleaded guilty to unlawfully obstructing an official proceeding -- the most serious charge in the government's indictment against him.

The other five charges against Chansley were dropped as part of a plea agreement he entered into with federal prosecutors.

Chansley is set to be sentenced November 17 and his conviction carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison -- although another Capitol rioter who pleaded guilty to the same felony charge last month was only sentenced to eight months.

PHOTO: Jacob Chansley yells inside the Senate Chamber, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Jacob Chansley yells inside the Senate Chamber, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

Chansley's attorney, Al Watkins, said during a Friday hearing that he is seeking Chansley's release pending sentencing, which a federal prosecutor said the government would oppose.

Chansley is one of the few rioters who has remained detained over the past eight months despite not being accused of participating in any violence against law enforcement during the riot.

Prosecutors argued he posed a danger to the public given his actions on Jan. 6, noting that he was among the first 30 members of the pro-Trump mob to enter the building and that he carried an American flag tied to a pole with a sharp object at the tip, which the government characterized as a "dangerous weapon."

Upon entering the Senate chamber, Chansley could be seen in videos calling on other rioters to join him up on the dais where Pence was previously presiding over the counting of the electoral college vote.

Before being escorted out, Chansley left a note on the desk that said, "It's Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!"

At least 600 individuals are currently facing federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to an analysis of public court records by ABC News.

As of Friday, approximately 60 accused rioters had either pleaded guilty or have plea hearings scheduled in the coming weeks.

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