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The filing says Jacob Chansley — also known as Jake Angeli — "demonstrates scattered and fanciful thoughts, and is unable to appreciate reality"

By Greg Hanlon
January 15, 2021 10:29 AM
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The pro-Donald Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol in last week's violent insurrection wanted "to capture and assassinate elected officials," federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

The filing, by Justice Department lawyers in Arizona, asks a judge to keep Jacob Chansley, 33, detained before his trial. Chansley, the Arizona man photographed inside the Capitol wearing a headdress with buffalo horns, has been referred to publicly as the QAnon Shaman, referencing the baseless and far-fetched conspiracy theory he believes in.

In the filing, which was obtained by PEOPLE, prosecutors wrote that "strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government."

Jacob Anthony Chansley
Jacob Chansley
| Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Shutterstock

As evidence, the filing cites a threatening note allegedly left by Chansley on the Senate Chamber dais stating "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming." The dais is where Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding over the certification of Joe Biden's election victory over President Trump minutes before the rioters, incited by Trump, stormed the Capitol. Some of the rioters chanted, "Hang Mike Pence."

According to the filing, when Chansley — who also goes by the name Jake Angeli — was questioned about the meaning of the note, he "went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators," including Pence, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Biden. He denied that the note was a threat, according to the filing.

Chansley, of Phoenix, is charged with two felonies: committing an act of civil disorder that obstructed the conduct of a federally-protected function and obstructing an official proceeding.

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The filing describes Chansley as "a self-proclaimed leader of the QAnon" and drug user who "demonstrates scattered and fanciful thoughts, and is unable to appreciate reality. He is the shaman of a dangerous extremist group, putting his beliefs into action by attempting to violently overthrow the United States government."

RELATED: Capitol Rioter Spotted in Chamber with Zip Ties Is Arrested After Ex-Wife Calls FBI

Chansley is scheduled for a court hearing on Friday, according to the filing.

The Washington Post reports that Albert S. Watkins, a St. Louis attorney, issued a statement saying Chansley had retained him as his attorney. In the statement, Watkins — who also represents Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple photographed aiming guns at a group of protesters in front of their home — calls for Trump to pardon Chansley.

The statement says Chansley behaved in a "peaceful and compliant fashion" toward law enforcement and was cooperating with the investigation.

It adds that Chansley "took seriously the countless messages of President Trump. He believed in President Trump."

According to Chansley's arrest warrant, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Chansley told prosecutors "that he came as a part of a group effort, with other 'patriots' from Arizona, at the request of the President that all "patriots" come to D.C. on January 6, 2021."

Elsewhere, in a federal Texas courtroom on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer argued that Larry Rendell Brock, the retired Air Force officer photographed inside the Capitol with zip ties, wanted to "take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government," the Associated Press reports.

Brock, 53, is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea and his public defender, Brook Antonio II, did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.