A federal courtroom looks a lot like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.
This has never been truer than on Friday, when attorney representing Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, better known as “QAnon Shaman”, used the fictional film. Forrest Gump in his argument before a federal judge.
The QAnon Shaman faces charges of the felony of meddling with police during a civil unrest and obstruction of Congress, as well as several counts of misdemeanor. He was arrested in Arizona on January 9 and has been in custody since. Chansley, who has been in custody since his arrest, argued he was cleared into the Capitol building by police. His bare-chested, horned fur hat was widely circulated as a symbol of the January 6 uprising.
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Lawyer Al Watkins said his client visited Capitol Hill on January 6 at the invitation of former President Donald Trump, “like Forrest Gump.”
His somewhat opaque reference explained: In the film, Forrest Gump was invited with the US ping-pong team to the White House, where he met then-President Richard Nixon, a meeting that turned out to be would prove fateful for Nixon in the days following the take and smile. .
“We are not dealing with a violent man,” Watkins told US District Judge Royce Lamberth. “They sincerely believed in the truth of what the country’s top employee, the president, said …”
Prosecutors argued that there was no reasonable version where Chansley could have believed he was being escorted to the Capitol, showing broken windows and alarms in the building. He was reportedly asked to leave several times, but remained in the Senate Chamber, leaving a note in the Vice President’s office stating: “It is only a matter of time. Justice is coming. “
A decision on the release request is expected shortly. Until then, Chansley is staying at the Gray Bar Hotel. Forrest Gump, of course, stayed at Watergate in a room furnished by Richard Nixon.