Capitol Rioter Known as QAnon Shaman Pleads Guilty

Jacob Chansley, a former actor and Navy sailor widely known as the QAnon Shaman, who stormed the Capitol in January in stars-and-stripes face paint and a horned fur hat, pleaded guilty on Friday to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.

Mr. Chansley, 34, became one of the best-known figures in the Capitol breach after images of him standing shirtless on the Senate floor brandishing a spear made from a flagpole shot around the globe, vividly representing the role played in the riot by adherents of QAnon, the cultlike conspiracy theory embraced by some backers of former President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Chansley, who says he has now lost faith in Mr. Trump, remained in the spotlight even after his arrest.

In February, his lawyer, Albert Watkins, persuaded a federal judge to order the jail where Mr. Chansley was being detained to provide him with a strict diet of organic meals. The next month, Mr. Chansley gave a widely watched interview to “60 Minutes,” saying that his actions on Jan. 6 were not an attack on the nation, but rather a way to “bring God back into the Senate.”

His plea hearing in Federal District Court in Washington on Friday departed from the circuslike atmosphere that has surrounded the case from the start. He did not speak other than to answer yes-or-no procedural questions. Under the terms of his deal, Mr. Chansley agreed to accept a recommended 41 to 51 months in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17.

Another defendant who pleaded guilty to the same charge this year was given eight months at a sentencing hearing in July.

Among the first rioters to break into the Capitol, Mr. Chansley was arrested three days later and charged with civil disorder, obstruction, disorderly conduct in a restricted building and demonstrating in a Capitol building. Prosecutors say that while he was in the Senate chamber, he left a note on the desk of Vice President Mike Pence saying, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

Mr. Chansley, who had appeared in his shaman costume at several pro-Trump rallies before Jan. 6, was also one of the first defendants to blame Mr. Trump for his own behavior at the riot. A few weeks after Mr. Chansley’s arrest, Mr. Watkins said that Mr. Trump was culpable of inciting his followers to attack the Capitol, adding that he planned to ask the White House for a pardon for his client.

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