Ex-Lawyer for ‘QAnon Shaman’ Says Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 Footage Wasn’t Shown to Client

Ex-Lawyer for ‘QAnon Shaman’ Says Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 Footage Wasn’t Shown to Client
Nicholas Rodean, wearing a red hat, and Jacob Chansley inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

A former lawyer for Jacob Chansley, who became widely known as the “QAnon Shaman” for his unusual headdress during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, said Wednesday that recently released footage on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show could have aided his case.

Albert Watkins, the former attorney, told Carlson that he never saw recently aired Jan. 6 footage that appeared to show Chansley walking next to U.S. Capitol Police officers without incident, and at one point, officers even opening doors for him. Chansley became one of the faces of the Jan. 6 breach due to his distinctive appearance as he donned face paint and wore a horned cap while carrying an American flag through the halls of Congress.

Footage released on the program earlier this week showed at least nine officers in close proximity to Chansley. None of them, according to the tapes, tried to detain him or block him from entering certain areas. In fact, according to Carlson, the officers appeared to escort him through Congress.

Federal prosecutors charged him with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds as well as entering a restricted building without lawful authority. For that, he was convicted and sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison after he took a prosecutor-backed plea deal.

“This is a man who had tremendous intelligence ... very gentle, very, very articulate who was diagnosed 15 years earlier by the government with a mental health issue- and the government knew that,” Watkins told Fox News on Wednesday. “The government knew through three hearings when we begged and pleaded to get this man out of solitary confinement, literally falling into an abyss, mentally.”

Prosecutors, he alleged, “knew that Jake had walked around with all of these police officers” and that they had “video footage I didn’t get. It wasn’t disclosed to me. It wasn’t provided to me.”

“And through each of those three hearings that government assistant U.S. attorney knew the most important aspect of that hearing was that Jake was not violent. The government knew,” Watkins also said.

Later the interview, Watkins suggested that if that footage was released to him, it could have aided his case. His current prison term is a “tragedy” that has befallen the “American justice system.”

Jacob Chansley is seen outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
Jacob Chansley is seen outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

“This is about our justice system being so compromised, the very integrity and core of that, which we wore as a badge of honor for the entirety of our nation’s history, has been rendered a vile, disgusting mess by a Department of Justice that was running amok,” Watkins told the channel. “And they didn’t share the video of my client, the footage from my client with nine officers surrounding him peacefully, wandering about, trying to help them, trying to get him access to the Senate chamber. They didn’t because it didn’t fit their narrative.”

“I requested it. I filed the requisite pleadings for it. Whether I did or not, they had a duty, an absolute duty, with zero discretion to provide it to me so I could share it with my client,” Watkins added Wednesday.

According to the recently released footage, Chansley is seen entering the Senate chamber, where he and others were seen kneeling in prayer. Chansley said during the prayer that he thanked the Capitol officers for “letting us into the building.”

It’s not clear if Chansley will appeal his conviction in light of the release of the Jan. 6 footage.

With the release of the footage, lawyers for at least one Jan. 6 defendant, Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola, filed a motion saying this week newly disclosed video aired on Carlson’s show is “plainly exculpatory.” That footage “establishes that the Senate chamber was never violently breached, and—in fact—was treated respectfully by January 6 protestors,” his lawyers said.

The Epoch Times has contacted the U.S. Capitol Police for comment.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in a filing in connection to Jan. 6 defendant Ryan Nichols that none of the defendants should be able to delay their trials after the release of footage to Carlson.

“The United States does not know the extent of any material that a member of the legislative branch purportedly provided to other individuals,” assistant U.S. Attorney Sean McCauley wrote. “This Court should not commit to an indefinite trial extension for this Defendant, or for any defendants, based on the unsupported allegation that pertinent information may exist somewhere, but is not currently known to either the prosecution or the defense.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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