“QAnon Shaman” Chansley to be Released from Prison Early

March 30, 2023

Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who was made infamous during the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, is set to be released early from federal prison after being transferred to a halfway house.

According to prison records, Chansley is currently at a “residential reentry management” facility in Phoenix with a release date of May 25—roughly two months earlier than his projected release in July. 

Chansley was sentenced to 41 months behind bars in November, two months after he pleaded guilty to the federal charge of obstructing a federal proceeding, that being Congress’ certification of the 2020 President Election. 

So far, prosecutors have brought criminal charges against more than 1,000 people following the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, but Chansley was by far the highest-profile, becoming a virtual symbol of the insurrection in his hat made of animal fur and horns and with his tattooed arms and chest bared amid winter in Washington DC. 

He was among a smaller subset of rioters who went into the Senate chamber on January 6, where he sat at the desk of the Senate president—Vice President Pence, who was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from rioters inside the Capitol building, shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

According to prosecutors, Chansley took pictures of himself on the Senate dais and refused to vacate the seat when he was asked to do so by law enforcement. Instead, he stated that “Mike Pence is a f***ing traitor” and wrote a note on paper at the dais, “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!”

Chansley’s attorney Albert Watkins confirmed his client’s transfer, saying in a statement, “After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law abiding and enriching life.”

The Bureau of Prisons would not comment on Chansley’s status directly. It instead issued a statement that read, “[F]or safety, and security reasons, we do not discuss the conditions of confinement for any inmate, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual’s specific location while in community confinement.”

PHOTO: Chansley in Arizona, October 2020

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