Posted BY: Cristina Laila
Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley weighed in on the government’s case against Jacob Chansley, AKA, the “QAnon Shaman” after Fox News host Tucker Carlson released January 6 footage Monday evening.
Tucker Carlson Monday evening released never-before-seen January 6 footage showing police escorting peaceful protestors through the Capitol.
The newly released videos destroyed the sham January 6 Committee’s narrative.
Capitol Police were seen giving Jacob Chansley, AKA, the “QAnon Shaman,” a tour and walked him onto the Senate floor.
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Chansley quickly pleaded guilty to charges without significant discovery and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Many are now saying the Justice Department withheld Brady’s material by not disclosing the January 6 footage.
However, it appears Justice Department prosecutors can put their hands up and claim they didn’t withhold exculpatory evidence because the footage was in possession of the legislative branch.
The January 6 Committee was in possession of the footage which means the DOJ can make the claim it was not required to produce it, says Jonathan Turley.
Excerpt from Jonathan Turley’s blog post (emphasis ours):
However, the QAnon Shaman was led through the Capitol by officers. Defense counsel could have noted that his “obstruction” in going to an unoccupied Senate floor was facilitated by officers. While the police were clearly trying to deescalate the situation after the Capitol was breached, this is evidence of how Chansley came to the Senate. Indeed, his interaction with officers could have impacted how he viewed the gravity of his conduct. It certainly would have been material to the court in sentencing the conduct.
In his rambling sentencing statement to the court, Chansley apologized for “a lot of bad juju that I never meant to create.”
I have great respect for Judge Lamberth, who has always shown an admirable resistance to public pressure in high profile cases. I cannot imagine that Lamberth would not have found this footage material and frankly alarming.
At first blush, this would appear a clear “Brady violation” when a prosecutor fails to provide a defendant with any evidence that is favorable or exculpatory to his case. Like most things in Chansley’s life, it is a bit more complex than it would seem.
First, Chansley quickly pleaded guilty to the charge. This may have been due in part to the draconian treatment that he received by the Justice Department, which insisted on keeping him in solitary confinement with no apparent justification. The result is that he moved rapidly to sentencing without significant discovery in his case.
Second, the footage was in the possession of the legislative branch so the Justice Department could claim that it was not required to produce it. Indeed, the prosecution may have been entirely unaware of the footage.
Third, Chansley waived an appeal of the plea agreement and is now weeks away from release. The case is practically closed.
It is not clear, however, if Judge Lamberth will find the failure to disclose this evidence troubling and worthy of inquiry. None of this means that Chansley should not have been given jail time. Indeed, it is appropriate to sentence rioters to greater than average time due to the assault on our constitutional process.