Sen. Graham: Calling 'QAnon Shaman' as Impeachment Witness Would Turn Trial Into 'Circus'

Sen. Graham: Calling 'QAnon Shaman' as Impeachment Witness Would Turn Trial Into 'Circus'
Jacob Chansley, center, and other protesters are seen inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Manuel Blace Ceneta/AP Photo)
Zachary Stieber

Calling the so-called QAnon Shaman as a witness in the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump would turn the proceedings into a "circus," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) charged Friday.

"I cannot think of a better way to turn the upcoming impeachment trial into a complete circus than to call the QAnon Shaman as a witness on anything," Graham wrote in a tweet.

The man in question is Jacob Chansley, who gave himself the moniker widely used in the press and by the senator. Chansley was seen shirtless, wearing a distinctive hat with horns during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.

Chansley told a U.S. Capitol Police officer and an FBI agent the following day that he traveled to Washington because Trump called for all "patriots" to go there to protest as Congress met in a joint session.

Trump was impeached on Jan. 13 for alleged incitement of insurrection. Democrats and 10 Republicans voted for impeachment because they felt his repeated claims of a stolen election and statements he made on Jan. 6 during a speech, such as "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore," led to the breach.
Trump also called for protesters to go to the Capitol "peacefully and patriotically" and has defended his speech as "totally appropriate." He had not finished speaking about two miles from the Capitol when the violence started.

Chansley's lawyer told the Associated Press that his client is offering to testify at Trump's trial.

Albert Watkins, the lawyer, said he had not spoken to any members of the Senate but believes it's important for senators to hear from someone who was allegedly incited by Trump.

Chansley was "horrendously smitten" by the former president but feels betrayed because he wasn't pardoned, Watkins said.

No witnesses were called in the House prior to Trump being impeached, a stark contrast to the first impeachment inquiry against the president. Graham has said calling witnesses in the Senate would prolong the new trial, causing it to "go for months, not days."

Chansley was charged with civil disorder, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of an official proceeding, among other counts.