The Iowa man who led a mob of rioters in chasing a Capitol Police officer up several flights of stairs during the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Douglas Jensen, 43, of Des Moines, was sentenced to 60 months behind bars by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Friday. Jensen was convicted in September after a five-day jury trial of five felonies and two misdemeanors for his actions during the Jan. 6 attack, when scores of Donald Trump supporters pushed past law enforcement and invaded the Capitol building as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win. The incursion brought the certification to a temporary halt and forced lawmakers to either evacuate the building or shelter in place for hours as the mob raged both inside the building and on restricted Capitol grounds.
Jensen, wearing a black shirt bearing the letter “Q” in an American flag theme, an eagle, and two phrases indicating support for the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, was captured on video confronting Officer Eugene Goodman by the East Grand Stairs in the Capitol. Leading a group of clearly agitated and angry rioters, Jensen chased Goodman up multiple flights upstairs to the Ohio Clock corridor outside the Senate Chamber, where he told officers to “back up” and demanded that they arrest then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Officer Goodman is credited with leading the agitated crowd of Trump supporters away from the Senate Chamber, possibly preventing additional violence and bloodshed.
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Jensen was carrying a three-inch blade in his pocket at the time.
Prior to menacing Goodman, Jensen had scaled a wall on the West Front of the Capitol. Prosecutors say he watched as rioters broke windows and doors at the Senate Wing entrance before entering the building himself.
According to CBS News, Jensen did not express remorse during remarks on his own behalf before Judge Kelly, a Trump appointee.
“I can’t change my past,” he reportedly said. “I can only look to the future.”
Jensen also said that he wants to “go back to being a family man” and to “normal life,” CBS reported.
Kelly was troubled by Jensen’s apparent lack of regret for his actions.
“You emboldened the mob,” he reportedly said to the defendant before issuing his sentence.
“You celebrated what happened afterward,” Kelly also said, according to CBS, later adding: “Your statement today doesn’t show you understand what you did was wrong.”
Kelly’s 60-month sentence hews closely to the government’s request for 64 months in prison and is more than double the 27 months Jenson had requested in his sentencing memo. Kelly also sentenced Jensen to 36 months of supervised release following his incarceration.
A jury convicted Jensen after a five-day trial in September of five felonies: assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer, obstruction of an official proceeding, interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon.
Jensen was also convicted of two additional disorderly conduct misdemeanors. He faced a potential 53 years in prison on the felony charges and one year for the misdemeanors; the obstruction charge alone carried up to 20 years behind bars.
The Iowa man was arrested days after the attack. He was initially allowed to go home on pretrial release — apparently having truly believed that Pence and other members of Congress would be arrested after the Capitol breach. But Jensen was later sent back to jail for violating a condition of that release and watching an online symposium by pillow salesman Mike Lindell, one of the most outspoken supporters of the widely-discredited theory that Trump’s 2020 election loss was due to widespread voter fraud.
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