His lawyer, QAnon shaman Jacob Chansley, said he’s being released early from jail to a halfway house.
A so-called “QAnon shaman” who pleaded guilty to storming the US Capitol on January 6 was released from prison to a halfway house 14 months ago, in an apparent demotion for good behavior.
Jacob Chansley, 35, pleaded guilty in September 2021 to civil disorder and violent entry into the Capitol, among other charges, and was later sentenced to 41 months in federal prison.
As of Thursday, Bureau of Prison (BOP) records showed, and his former attorney confirmed in a statement to DailyMail.com, that Chansley was in a halfway house in the Phoenix area after serving less than 27 months in prison.
Chansley’s release comes weeks after his former attorney called for his release in light of new video from the Capitol riot, but his move to the halfway house appears to be disconnected, the former federal prosecutor who was not part of the case told DailyMail.com.
Although the reason for the transfer is not clear, the former attorney general said it is doubtful public pressure played a role, noting that the move appears to be ‘kind of routine’ under the BOP’s guidelines for good behavior reduction and re-entry programs.
Jacob Chansley was released from federal prison early and released to a halfway house
Chansley is seen being followed through the Capitol by a police officer on January 6, 2021
Federal prisoners can get a 15 percent reduction in their prison sentence for good behavior behind bars, and they can also spend the last 12 months of their sentence in halfway houses at the discretion of the Bureau of Corrections.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Albert S. Watkins, the attorney who handled Chansley’s lawsuit and sentencing, praised his move to the halfway house.
After spending eleven months in solitary confinement prior to his sentencing, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate that this sweet and intelligent young man be allowed to proceed to the next phase of what will undoubtedly be a committed law and prose life,” Watkins said.
“I applaud the US Bureau of Prisons’ decision in this regard,” Watkins added.
Bureau of Corrections records confirmed that Chansley is being held at the Phoenix Residential Reentry Department field office, which contracts with midway homes to help inmates prepare for community reentry.
Watkins declined to comment on the reason for Chansley’s early release, saying: ‘This was a decision by the US Bureau of Prisons. I cannot speak for the US Bureau of Prisons.
In recent weeks, prominent figures including billionaire Elon Musk have called for Chansley’s release, citing new footage that appears to show him being “escorted” by cops inside the Capitol during the riot.
However, former federal prosecutor Nima Ramani, head of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told DailyMail.com that the intense scrutiny of Chansley’s case was unlikely to have any impact on his early release.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with media (or) public pressure,” said Ramani, who is not connected to the case.
He noted that releasing inmates into temporary homes for the last 12 months of their sentences was “a bit of a routine for the Bureau of Prisons”, particularly for prisoners without a long criminal history.
“Despite the violent nature of the Capitol riots, most of the rioters had little to no criminal history,” Ramani said.
Tucker Carlson released footage from inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, including clips showing “Qanun shaman,” Jacob Chansley (above), apparently “escorting” the building
Albert Watkins (right) represented Jacob Chansley in court. Watkins said Chansley pleaded guilty, without knowing anything about the footage showing him inside the Capitol building
Earlier this month, Watkins argued Chansley should be released after Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired previously unseen footage of the riot.
Carlson used his Fox News show to air clips showing Chansley inside the US Capitol.
Chansley was apparently escorted inside the building by Capitol Police officers, while other officers let the horned Trump supporter through.
On Carlson’s broadcast, Chansley’s former solicitor said the new footage had not been shown, which the Conservative news anchor said he “clearly denied”.
Carlson used the footage to say that the rioters were “sights” and “mostly peaceful”.
However, other evidence deleted by Carlson shows that Chansley entered the Capitol without permission, was repeatedly asked to leave the building, and was not accompanied by police at all times.
For example, a Signed statement from Chansley and his solicitors It contradicts the suggestion that he was “escorted” by policemen throughout the riot.
The statement acknowledges that Chansley entered the Capitol through a broken door as part of a mob that “was not legally permitted to enter or remain in the building” and that he was one of the first 30 rioters inside.
She also points out that although the officers asked Chansley and others several times to leave the Capitol, he did not comply and actively urged his fellow rioters.
The statement describes Chansley’s interactions with officers during the breach, but also notes that he “entered the Senate Gallery alone.”
Watkins has previously said his former client disavows the “QAnon” conspiracy theory and prefers to be known simply as “The Shaman.”