Court Battles

‘QAnon Shaman’ released from prison, transferred to halfway house

Jacob Chansley, the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioter better known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was released from federal prison early and transferred to a halfway house on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Prisons said Chansley was moved to “community confinement” — a term that can either refer to home confinement or a halfway house; but Chansley’s attorney Albert Watkins confirmed it was the latter.

“After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law abiding and enriching life,” Watkins said in a statement.

The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that “for safety, and security reasons, we do not discuss the conditions of confinement for any inmate, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual’s specific location while in community confinement.”

Chansley, who gained national attention for wearing face paint and a horned headdress during the riot, pleaded guilty to obstruction and was sentenced in November 2021 to 41 months in prison.

The bureau now lists Chansley’s release date as May 25 of this year. The bureau declined to discuss the specifics of Chansley’s case, but inmates are able to shave off part of their sentences for good conduct while behind bars.

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Earlier this month, Chansley returned to the spotlight after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)  granted Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to a trove of about 44,000 hours of Capitol security footage from Jan. 6.

Carlson leveraged the footage to argue the riot was “mostly peaceful chaos,” and he showed footage of Chansley walking around the Capitol unimpeded by a group of officers who followed him.

Federal prosecutors later said in court filings that Carlson omitted key footage and only showed four minutes out of about an hour that Chansley spent in the building.

Tags Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Jan. 6 Capitol riot Kevin McCarthy QAnon Shaman Tucker Carlson

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