QAnon Shaman Blasted by Judge for 'False' Claim in 'Publicity Stunt' Interview

Royce Lamberth, the senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said that Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman, had made a false claim and "blatantly lied" in a recent "publicity stunt" interview.

Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, has become one of the most iconic supporters of former President Donald Trump who took part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. During the insurrection, Chansley was captured on video and photographed bare-chested and wearing horns, animal fur and face paint while holding a spear with an American flag.

In a recent interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes Plus, the pro-Trump activist claimed that he and other rioters "were waved in by police officers" as they entered the legislative building.

But Lamberth, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, disputed Chansley's claim, citing video footage to counter his remarks.

"Not only is defendant unable to offer evidence substantiating his claim that he was waved into the Capitol, but evidence submitted by the government proves this claim false. A video submitted by the government captures rioters breaking through the windows of the Capitol building," the judge wrote in a 32-page opinion, Law & Crime first reported on Tuesday.

QAnon Shaman
Supporters of President Donald Trump—including, in the center, Jacob Chansley—inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6. SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY

"The government's video shows that defendant blatantly lied during his interview with 60 Minutes+ when he said that police officers waved him into the building," he added.

Lamberth described the interview as a "media publicity stunt."

"Such media appearances are undoubtedly conducive to defense counsel's fame. But they are not at all conducive to an argument that the only way defense counsel could privately communicate with his client is if defendant were temporarily released," the judge wrote. "Given defense counsel's decision to use what could have been a confidential videoconference on a media publicity stunt, that argument is so frivolous as to insult the court's intelligence."

Lamberth ruled that Chansley should remain behind bars until his trial.

Reached for comment by Newsweek, Chansley's attorney, Albert Watkins, took issue with the way the judge's words were being characterized. "I disagree with your characterization of the judge's order and statements. The court's order was well written and reasoned," Watkins said in an email.

Watkins also forwarded to Newsweek a statement disputing the assessment of the video footage used by the judge and requesting further video evidence from the public.

"Subsequent scrutiny of the video footage...has given rise to the identification of numerous ambiguities, irregularities, inconsistencies, timeline issues and concern about the assertions of the Government about the actions of Mr. Chansley based on the Government's video footage," Watkins said.

"As part of an ongoing forensic evaluation of video footage as it relates to Mr. Chansley, a dedicated email address has been established for the transmittal of any video footage depicting Mr. Chansley on January 6, 2021," he continued.

"It is hopeful that the video footage which is provided will assist both Mr. Chansley and the Government to garner a heightened degree of appreciation for the peaceful and non-violent nature of the Shaman and that which really occurred on January 6," Watkins said.

After already charging some 300 individuals, the FBI continues to hunt for hundreds of additional rioters who demonstrated inside the Capitol. Capitol Police estimate that about 800 people unlawfully entered the legislative building during the violent insurrection.