Posted by Curt on 9 March, 2023 at 9:51 am. 7 comments already!


by Chris Bray

What did Jacob Chansley do? What did the government say he did?

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Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release — a total of six and a half of years of punishment. Tucker Carlson maintains, with video to support his description, that Chansley did nothing much to earn that sentence: He walked through the Capitol with police who didn’t try to stop him. But what’s the other side of the argument?
It’s close to nothing.
The charges against Chansley were repeatedly documented in a series of court records. Here’s the first, a “Statement of Facts” from USCP Special Agent James Soltes, filed in court with a charge sheet on January 8:

Chansley Statement Of Facts
380KB ∙ PDF File


It’s mostly not about Chansley. From a paragraph on pg. 1:

With the joint session underway and with Vice President Mike Pence presiding, a large crowd gathered outside the U.S. Capitol….At approximately 2:00 p.m., certain individuals in the crowd forced their way through, up, and over the barricades and officers of the U.S. Capitol Police, and the crowd advanced to the exterior façade of the building….shortly after 2:00 p.m., individuals in the crowd forced entry into the U.S. Capitol, including by breaking windows.

And so on. There’s a crowd; it’s breaking windows and forcing its way over barricades.
Chansley doesn’t appear in any of this action. Then, suddenly, Chansley is on stage — without having entered from the wings. “Media coverage of these events showed one of the rioters who entered the Capitol building dressed in horns, a bearskin headdress, red, white and blue face paint, shirtless, and tan pants,” the statement says. Then, on pg. 3, “on January 7, 2021, CHANSLEY called in to the Washington Field Office of the FBI, to voluntarily speak with law enforcement. Your affiant and an FBI agent spoke on the phone with CHANSLEY, who confirmed that he was the male in the face paint and headdress in the Vice President’s chair in the Senate.”
That’s it. “Certain individuals” and “a large crowd” pushed and fought; Jacob Chansley was photographed by media in the Senate chambers, and told us he was the person in the pictures. Read it if you doubt it, but you will not find a description of Jacob Chansley using force, engaging in violence, or actually doing literally anything but standing there. Other people push and shove; Chansley appears.
Then he was indicted by a federal grand jury. Here’s the indictment, filed on January 11:

Chansley Indictment
99.7KB ∙ PDF File


The grand jury says that Chansley impeded official business by “forcing his way inside the United States Capitol,” and that Chansley committed the act of “threatening Congressional officials,” but it doesn’t name the place or the manner by which he forced his way in, and it doesn’t name any officials who he threatened. Beyond that, the indictment says that Chansley was….there.

He was present. He picketed. Remember: six and a half years of prison plus supervised release.
Finally, Chansley himself signed a plea statement in which he agreed to a narrative describing what he had done. Here it is:

Chansley Plea Statement
297KB ∙ PDF File


Again, Chansley often isn’t on center stage in his own plea statement:

This is Jacob Chansley’s plea agreement, for crying out loud, and it says, “individuals in the crowd forced entry into the U.S. Capitol, including by breaking windows and assaulting members of law enforcement.” It does not say — flatly does not say — that Jacob Chansley broke windows and assaulted police officers, in a statement of fact about Jacob Chansley that describes broken windows and assaults on police officers.

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