According to a report by Fox News, Albert Watkins, the former lawyer for Jacob Chansley, popularly known as the “QAnon Shaman,” has claimed that recently released footage on Tucker Carlson Tonight could have aided his case. Chansley became one of the most recognizable figures of the January 6th Capitol breach due to his unique appearance wearing face paint and a horned cap while carrying an American flag through Congress.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Watkins stated that he had never seen the recently aired footage showing Chansley walking next to U.S. Capitol Police officers without incident and at one point being escorted by them. The footage was released earlier this week and showed at least nine officers in close proximity to Chansley without trying to detain him or block him from entering certain areas.
Chansley was charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds as well as entering a restricted building without lawful authority. He was convicted and sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison after taking a prosecutor-backed plea deal.
Watkins went on to say that Chansley had been diagnosed with a mental health issue 15 years prior, which the government knew about. Despite three hearings where they pleaded to get him out of solitary confinement, he remained there causing his mental health to deteriorate further. According to Watkins, Chansley is a man of tremendous intelligence who is very gentle and articulate.
Watkins stated, “Prosecutors knew that Jake had walked around with all of these police officers” and added, “It wasn’t disclosed to me. It wasn’t provided to me.”
Watkins further claimed that during the three hearings for Chansley’s case, the government’s assistant U.S. attorney knew that his client was not violent. “And through each of those three hearings, the government knew,” he said.
Later in the interview, Watkins suggested that if he had been provided with this footage earlier on in the case, it could have aided his client’s defense. He referred to Chansley’s current prison term as a tragedy and a failure of the American justice system.