Jan. 16 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors said a man wearing a horned, fur headdress during last week’s deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol attempted to “violently overthrow” the U.S. government and should not be released from prison.
Government lawyers offered the stark assessment of Jacob Chansley’s role in the Jan. 6 siege in an 18-page document Thursday asking a federal judge to keep him imprisoned while he awaits trial.
Chansley, who was easily identified in videos and photos from the riots due to his headwear, face paint, tattoos and an American flag mounted onto a spear, faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
He was arrested this week in Phoenix, but his case is being tried in Washington, D.C.
In the court filing Thursday, prosecutors said Chansley, who has referred to himself as “QAnon Shaman,” entered the Senate chamber and left a note for Vice President Mike Pence on the dais.
“It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming,” the note read.
Prosecutors said that when they questioned Chansley about the note’s meaning, he went on a “lengthy diatribe” about a number of current and past political leaders, describing them “as infiltrators involved in various types of wrongdoing.”
“Although he stated his note was not a threat, the government strongly disagrees,” the documents said.
In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors initially offered a chilling description of the rioters’ motive.
“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government.”
Prosecutors backtracked in a hearing Friday, asking the court to strike that sentence out of the document. Lawyer Todd Allison told the court his team may eventually want to pursue that motive if Chansley goes to trial.
“We do not want to mislead the court by discussing the strength of any specific evidence” regarding Chansley’s intent, Allison said, according to CNN.
Prosecutors said Chansley should be kept in detention because he told the FBI he planned to continue participating in “insurrection attempts” after his interview with them.
Robert Bauer & Edward Hemenway
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, Robert Bauer, of Kentucky, told FBI agents he and his cousin, Edward Hemenway, participated in the Capitol riot “because President Trump said to do so.”
Both men told agents they encountered a police officer inside the Capitol who shook their hands and told them: “It’s your house now.”
Bauer said he believed the officer was “acting out of fear.”
Bauer said he had no intention of hurting law enforcement officials or fighting anyone, and said he didn’t know Congress was in session at the time. Hemenway said he also didn’t know Congress was in session and entered the building out of “curiosity” and “stupidity.”
Both men face one count each of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended and at least 10 are under investigation for their actions during the riot. It’s unclear if the officer Bauer and Hemenway encountered was with the Capitol Police or if he is under investigation.
Klete Keller, a five-time U.S. Olympic medalist, turned himself in to authorities to face multiple charges related to the riots.
Keller, who won gold in the 4x200M freestyle in 2004 and 2008, surrendered to police in his home state of Colorado on Thursday.
A short time after his surrender, Keller was released on his own recognizance following an appearance in federal court in Denver. He was charged earlier this week.
Keller, 38, is charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Keller, who swam with American swimming great Michael Phelps, promised U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty he will return for future court dates. He will be allowed to leave Colorado one time to see family in North Carolina before his case starts.
Hegarty ordered Keller to surrender his passport and denied any additional travel.
Keller was charged after he appeared in video footage taken inside the Capitol. Federal agents were able to identify Keller, who stands 6-foot-6, with the help of former teammates and coaches. In the footage, he’s also wearing a Team USA jacket.
If convicted on all charges, Keller could face up to 11 years in prison.
Now a commercial real estate agent in Colorado, Keller has won five Olympic medals — gold and bronze in Athens in 2004, another gold four years later in Beijing and silver and bronze at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Keller had been working at Hoff & Leigh, but the real estate company said he has resigned.
U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland sent a letter to Team USA athletes condemning those who rioted at the Capitol, but did not specifically cite Keller by name or suggest his role in the event.
“I urge everyone associated with Team USA to continue to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our community,” she wrote.