The Jan. 6 rioter who stood behind former Vice President Mike Pence’s Senate dais in a horned, coyote-fur headdress, face paint and a shirtless display of his tattooed torso has been let loose from the last leg of his incarceration, federal records indicate.
Jacob Chansley, the 35-year-old once known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was released from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Senior U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth labeled Chansley the “very image of the riot” before dealing him a 41-month sentence after he copped a plea deal for obstructing an official proceeding.
His attorney Albert Watkins celebrated his client’s release in a statement.
“Chansley worked diligently during his period of confinement to take advantage of the opportunities accorded by his plea deal to reduce the time he was required to serve,” Watkins said in a statement. “The Court and Bureau of Prisons recognized this effort. I sincerely wish Jake the absolute best as he moves forward with his life.”
He was transferred from federal prison to a halfway house in March.
Beyond his distinctive appearance, Chansley was known for leading a prayer from the lectern where Pence certified President Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Thank you Heavenly Father for gracing us with this opportunity…to allow us to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists, that this is our nation, not theirs,” Chansley declared on Jan. 6. “That we will not allow America, the American way of the United States of America to go down…Thank you for filling this chamber with Patriots that love you… Thank you for allowing the United States of America to be reborn. Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”
After his sermon, Chansley left behind what prosecutors described as a threatening note.
“It’s only a matter of time,” it read. “Justice is coming!”
Chansley claimed to have only peaceful intentions, but as he entered the Senate chamber, he shouted “time’s up motherfuckers.”
His violent rhetoric about the 2020 election long predated the attack on the Capitol.
“We shall have no real hope to survive the enemies arrayed against us until we hang the traitors lurking among us,” he wrote on Facebook on Nov. 19, 2020.
In an interview with NBC News, Chansley appeared to relish the mortal fear the rioters inspired in Congress members.
“The fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win,” he boasted.
During his prosecution, Chansley presented a starkly different self-image. He disavowed the “QAnon” from his moniker, ditching his conspiracy theorist branding and depicting himself as simply a pious “shaman.”
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