False claim about Jacob Chansley, the QAnon shaman, revealed by the January 6 tapes

Allegation: January 6 video shows Jacob Chansley being escorted the entire time by Capitol Police

A March 7 Facebook post ( direct link , archived link ) makes a claim about Jacob Chansley, commonly known as the QAnon shaman, and his presence at the January 6 Capitol riot.

“Never-before-seen video from January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, a QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time he was inside the building,” the post reads.

Tweet with the same claim generated over 250,000 likes in less than a week and was shared on Facebook almost 5,000 times. Similar posts have accumulated more than a thousand interactions on Instagram.

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Our assessment: False

A Capitol Police spokesman said Chansley — who also goes by the name Jake Angeli — was not escorted at all times by police into the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. A court document and a first-hand account show that police repeatedly asked Chancely to leave building.

Chansley was not escorted by the police at all times and was repeatedly asked to leave

In late February, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Carlson aired clips of the footage on his Tucker Carlson Tonight show for the first time on March 6.

The video referenced in the post is from that footage and shows various clips of Chancely walking down the halls of the Capitol building as Capitol Police follow him.

But contrary to the post’s claims, Capitol Police did not escort Chansley through the building the entire time, according to Tim Barber, a Capitol Police spokesman.

Fact check: Arrests were made at the Capitol building on and after January 6

A court document, a first-hand account and other video footage also support Barber’s statement and show Capitol Police repeatedly asked Chancely to leave the building.

Chanceley was arrested on January 9, 2021 – three days after the riot at the Capitol – and faced six charges. He pleaded guilty to obstructing official proceedings and was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021.

A government statement signed by Chancely and his attorney as “true and accurate” said Chancely illegally entered the Capitol building through a broken door with a mob of rioters. A video clip from the initial break-in of the building does not show Chansley escorted by police as he enters the building.

Sen. Chuck Schumer calls Tucker Carlson’s Fox News segment on Jan. 6 riots ‘disgraceful’

The group then moved to the second floor on the Senate side of the building, where they were met by several Capitol Police officers who instructed them to “peacefully leave the building,” according to the statement. Chanceley challenged Capitol Police Officer Keith Robichaud to let them through, eventually “using his megaphone to rile up the crowd.”

Chanceley then “entered the Senate gallery alone” and “continued to shout obscenities,” the statement said.

After Chancely moved into the Senate chamber, Robichaux asked him several times to leave, according to the statement. In the HBO documentary “Four Hours in the Capitol,” Robishaw says he was the only police officer in the room at the time.

“And in my mind I was like, ‘There’s nothing I can do,’ you know?” Robichaud said. “I can only issue orders and if they listen to me, great. If they don’t, I can’t force them. I’m alone.”

Several law enforcement officers then joined Robishaw to clear the rioters from the hall, according to the statement.

On his show, Carlson claimed that the Capitol Police acted as a tour guide for Chancely. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Munger said in an internal department memo that the claim was both “outrageous and false,” as USA TODAY reported.

Chansley is a supporter of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims there is a global cabal of Satan worshipers, cannibalistic child sex traffickers. Conspiracy theory claims have been widely debunked.

USA TODAY reached out to Fox News and social media users who shared the allegation for comment.

The Associated Press also debunked that claim.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • Tim Barber, March 9, email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Kyle Cheney, March 6 Tweet

  • USA TODAY March 7 Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger blasted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for Jan. 6 video

  • USA TODAY September 17, 2020 QAnon conspiracy theories debunked are seeping into mainstream social media. Don’t be fooled

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, September 3, 2021, Statement of Offense in Support of Plea

  • District of Columbia Attorney’s Office, accessed March 9, CHANSLEY, Jacob Anthony

  • Axios, Feb. 20 Exclusive: McCarthy gives Tucker Carlson access to Jan. 6 riot tapes

  • Associated Press, March 8, Reports misrepresent insurgent’s actions in January 6 Capitol attack

  • PolitiFact, March 7, Evidence refutes Tucker Carlson’s claim that Capitol Police acted as ‘QAnon Shaman’ tour guide

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: False QAnon Shaman Claim Amid Exposition of Jan. 6 Tape

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