Attorney Al Watkins said his client Jacob Chansley, 33, was acting on Trump’s invitation when he and others forced their way into the Capitol on Jan. 6, as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
“The words and invitation of a president are supposed to mean something,” Watkins said in a statement to the Kansas City Star.
Chansley “took seriously the countless messages of President Trump,” he added.
“Like tens of millions of other Americans, Chansley felt — for the first time in his life — as though his voice was being heard.”
Chansley, who also goes by the names Jake Angeli or QAnon Shaman, went viral for his wild outfit during the riot, which included a furry horned hat and red, white and blue face paint.
The shirtless conspiracy theorist also brandished a spear from which hung an American flag as he made a spectacle of himself on the dais of the US Senate.
“His attire was consistent with his long-held Shaman beliefs,” his attorney said.
Chansley turned himself in on Saturday and faces charges of disorderly conduct, violent entry and illegally being on restricted spaces within the Capitol grounds.
But Watkins said his client comported himself in a “peaceful and compliant fashion” during the siege, which left five dead, including a police officer.
“He was unarmed. He was not violent. He was not destructive” — and deserves clemency from the outgoing commander-in-chief, the lawyer said.
“It would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president’s invitation with honorable intentions,” Watkins said.
Meanwhile, Chansley is being held in a federal lockup in Phoenix, Arizona while he awaits charges in Washington, DC for his role in the insurrection.
A judge recently ruled that Chansley should be allowed to get organic food in line with his strict shaman diet behind bars after he refused to eat anything else.