A man from Arizona who was spotted wearing a Viking helmet and a fur coat during the Jan. 6 disturbance at the United States Capitol pled guilty to one felony count against his contribution in the event on Friday.
Jacob Chansley, who entered the Senate floor and left an alarming message on then-Vice President Mike Pence’s desk, pleaded guilty to obstructing an official process, the government’s most serious charge against him.
Chansley’s remaining five charges were waived as a plea deal’s part which he struck with federal prosecutors.
Chansley is due to be sentenced on November 17 and faces up to 20 twenty years in federal prison if convicted — despite the fact that another rioter who pleaded guilty for the same criminal offence last month got just an eight-month sentence.
At a Friday hearing, Al Watkins, Chansley’s attorney, said that he is looking for Chansley’s release pending sentencing, to which a federal prosecutor suggested will be opposed by the government.
Chansley is counted among the few rioters who has been imprisoned for eight months despite the fact that he was not charged with any acts of violence aimed at law enforcement during the event.
Prosecutors claimed he posed a threat to the public since he was one of the first 30 pro-Trump supporters to enter the building on Jan. 6 and was carrying an American flag connected to a pole along with a pointed object at the top, which the government characterised as a “dangerous weapon.”
In recordings, Chansley can be heard encouraging rioters to join him on the Senate chamber’s dais, where Pence had earlier presided over the electoral college vote count.
Before being hauled away, Chansley left a written note on the desk saying that it is just a matter of time and that justice will be delivered!”
According to an ABC News review of public court documents, at least 600 individuals have been charged with federal crimes connected with the Jan. 6 revolt.
Approximately 60 accused rioters have either pleaded guilty or had impending plea hearings as of Friday.