The lawyer for the man nicknamed the ‘QAnon Shaman’ has appealed to a federal judge to release him before his trial citing a ‘muffin defence” for his participation in the attempted coup on the Capitol.
The defendant, real name Jacob Chansley stands charged with six federal counts for his involvement in the insurrection on 6 January, including Violent and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds.
He gained infamy for his unconventional costume of an animal hide, red, white and blue face paints and forgoing a shirt. If convicted, there is the potential for Mr Chansley to serve 28 years in prison.
According to reporting by The Daily Beast, Mr Chansley’s legal counsel, the first attempt to clear his indictments was made two months ago, when they shared a video of Mr Chansley preventing a fellow rioter from taking a muffin from a staff room.
“On March 19, 2021, Defendant’s counsel provided to the Government video footage depicting Defendant Chansley during his January 6, 2021 visit to the Capitol thwarting a crime (theft) by yelling at another person in the Capitol who was attempting to steal a ‘muffin’ from a breakroom in the Capitol.”
On 20 May, Mr Chansley was referred to a psychological examination by U.S District Judge Royce Lambeth, who said he needed to go to a “suitable facility for a competency examination” following his past with the online conspiracy theory group QAnon that lauds Donald Trump as a saviour and alleges senior Democrats are involved with Satanism and paedophilia.
In court, Albert Watkins said of his client, “he was not violent. He did not assault. He did not steal or destroy while he was in the Capitol.”
He also compared the rhetoric of former President Donald Trump saying it was “propaganda” similar to that of Adolf Hitler, therefore, pushing them to act. Mr Trump was impeached for his incitement to violence becoming the first president to be impeached twice.
His comments were met with criticism from the judge, who said these arguments were “so frivolous as to insult the Court’s intelligence.”