Just hours after being released from federal custody Thursday, Jacob Chansley, the convicted Jan. 6 rioter dubbed “Qanon Shaman” for his distinctive Capitol riot costume, is back on Twitter. And it appears he isn’t giving up the bit.
In his first post back, Chansley uploaded a computer-generated image of himself howling in the back of a police car—while wearing his namesake headdress and red, white and blue face paint. The caption was just one word: “FREEDOM!!!”
Shortly after, Chansley posted a five-minute clip on the “Forbidden Truth Podcast” Twitter account. It contained a rambling monologue in which he insisted that he has “learned numerous lessons during the test which God has graced me with over the last two and a half years.”
“I have no animosity or hatred towards the United States federal government,” Chansley said. “And I have forgiven my captors, and I pray for them.”
This is Jacob Angeli-Chansley. This is my offical twitter page & my first official statement upon my release from Federal BOP custody. The time is 9:07 AM on the 25th of May 2023. FREEDOM!!! https://t.co/UStVdYMdbu
— Jake Angeli-Chansley (@americashaman) May 25, 2023
It’s this forgiving attitude that Chansley’s attorney, Al Watkins, referenced in a gushing statement following his release from a halfway house Thursday.
“Jake is remarkably intelligence, peaceful to his core and a gentle young man with a very bright future,” Watkins said.
But the latter, darker half of Chansley’s video contained several veiled references to his continuing quest for “the truth”—and an ongoing fight against “global corruption” that echoes the language of conspiracy theories like QAnon.
“The final lesson I will share is the power that we each wield when we live by and speak truth,” Chansley said. “Speaking the truth can topple corrupt empires and free whole nations that have been enslaved by illusions. The Buddha once said that three things cannot be hidden long: sun, moon and truth.”
It’s unclear what specific “truth” Chansley was referencing.
Chansley didn’t mention Donald Trump, Jan. 6, or the 2020 election directly in the video, but he touched on “obvious” signs of international corruption.
“While there are those who will say that things in the world are only getting worse, I assert that things are not getting worse,” Chansley said. But rather, “the truth of global corruption is only becoming more obvious.”
But Watkins, whose statement Thursday morning preceded Chansley’s tweets and video, said he remained optimistic, despite his client’s immediate dive back into conspiratorial rhetoric.
“I’m still very optimistic,” Watkins told The Daily Beast, adding that the healing process for someone with “vulnerabilities”—like Chansley—“is one which will involve a lifetime of focus and introspection.”
“I’m not a doctor, what I am is an advocate,” he added. “And what I am advocating right now is that there be patience and compassion on the part of the public… I worry for Jake every single day, virtually every minute of every day. He had made that much of an impression upon me.”
Watkins had previously said that Chansley was “duped” by Trump.
For Chansley, however, the battle appears to rage on.
“Gandhi once said, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ It seems I’ve already undergone the first three stages of this process,” Chansley said in his post-release video. “Now, all there’s left to do is win.”
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