The QAnon Shaman Is Appealing The Outcome Of His Own Guilty Plea After Shifting Away From His Trash-Talking Lawyer

The QAnon Shaman (real name Jacob Chansley) must be stunned that he didn’t catch a break this month as a result of his guilty plea (for obstruction) following his participation in the MAGA insurrection/failed coup on the U.S. Capitol. Chansley received a relatively hefty 41-month prison sentence (with no credit for time served). And although he mostly wandered the halls wearing a “Chewbacca Bikini” outfit while shouting for freedom and claimed to have peacefully saved the Senate’s muffins, the DOJ and Judge Royce Lamberth did not go easy on him. His sentence is just shy of the largest insurrectionist sentence thus far (42 months to Scott Kevin Fairlamb), and as it turns out, the Shaman wants a do-over, at least in the sentence department.

The Shaman’s decision follows an unorthodox approach from Albert Watkins, who may no longer be Chansley’s attorney. Watkins famously framed his client as a total idiot, which isn’t great by any stretch. He even described the rioters as “f*cking short-bus people” and “f*cking ret*rded,” and that was before he suggested that his client was in “love” with Trump. Via Bloomberg, the Shaman has replaced Watkins, and his new lawyer is formally appealing the sentence that followed his guilty plea:

Jacob Chansley, who was sentenced this month to more than three years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, filed a notice of appeal on Tuesday “from the judgment and sentence” of the court.

John Pierce, Chansley’s new lawyer in the case, filed the notice in federal court in Washington, where his client was convicted, and is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The two-page notice will be followed by a memo laying out his arguments. Pierce replaced attorney Albert Watkins on the case on Monday at Chansley’s request.

Appealing a guilty plea is tricky business because a defendant would need to prove that the plea didn’t qualify as “knowing, voluntary, and intelligent.” One can speculate that Chansley’s new attorney would like to prove that this is the case, and certainly, Watkins had no problem trashing his previous client’s intelligence. However, it seems that John Pierce (a former Kyle Rittenhouse lawyer) is focusing upon the consequences of the appeal and wants the sentence reconsidered, rather than the plea itself.

(For what it’s worth, Watkins is claiming that he’s still on the Shaman’s legal team, so that should be an interesting thread to follow as well.)

In any event, it’s refreshing to see that no one here is attempting to use the term “Foxitis” as an approach to leniency (as one insurrectionist’s attorney has actually tried to do). And we’ll see how things go for the Shaman, who’s presumably not thrilled about 41 months of prison-vegan meals, but only time will tell if his sentence will shrink.

(Via Bloomberg & Business Insider)