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Lawyer for ‘Guy with the Horns and Fur’ Offers to Bring Down Trump by Having ‘QAnon Shaman’ Testify at Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman.’

Al Watkins, a lawyer for accused Capitol rioter Jacob Chansley, is offering his client as a witness in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Chansley is better known in popular culture as the “QAnon Shaman” or, as Watkins called him, the “guy with the horns and the fur” who was photographed raiding the U.S. Capitol Complex on Jan. 6.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Watkins “said it’s important for senators to hear the voice of someone who was incited by Trump.”

Chansley (a.k.a. Jake Angeli), 33, was “horrendously smitten” by Trump, Watkins told the AP.

Now, however, the AP said Chansley feels “let down” because Trump refused to pardon his behavior.

“He felt like he was betrayed by the president,” Watkins said.

Al Watkins on the Law&Crime Network.

Watkins’ tactic is not unlike that of a criminal defense attorney who seeks leniency for a client after the client testifies truthfully and favorably against other alleged conspirators in a criminal case. It is unclear whether prosecutors would look favorably on such a move in Chansley’s federal criminal case.

When asked whether he was offering Chansley’s testimony against Trump in the Senate with hopes of leniency, Watkins told Law&Crime via email that the answer “is a loud ‘no.'”

No senators have taken Watkins up on the offer to have Chansley testify, the AP said.

Watkins’ comments mirror statements he recently made on the Law&Crime Network.

In that appearance, Watkins said Trump’s “hyperbole” and “innuendo” resulted in the attack on the Capitol which left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Two other officers who were at the Capitol that day have since died by suicide.

Watkins said Chansley believed he had a “long-standing relationship” with Trump.

He said Chansley felt “duped” when Trump left office without issuing a pardon.

“While he may have believed that he was doing what the president invited him to do, the president isn’t on his side,” Watkins said of Chansley.

Chansley stands indicted by a federal grand jury of six counts, namely: civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building. The FBI caught him after he was photographed in the Capitol and identified by the press.

Trump’s impeachment trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 8.

Editor’s note:  this piece has been updated to include Watkins’ response to Law&Crime’s question about the strategic implications of offering Chansley’s testimony to the Senate.

[Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.