Capitol cops say they couldn’t get physical with rioters as new ‘QAnon Shaman’ video reveals hands-off approach
US Capitol Police appeared to give Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman,” the run of the place during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, trailing him in a bizarre escort as he walked the halls near the Senate chamber that day — and even opening the door to allow him inside, according to surveillance footage made public Monday night.
The never-before-seen video aired on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” part of more than 40,000 hours of closed circuit security footage that Carlson and his producers were given access to by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
In contrast to the running battles between cops and pro-Trump rioters outside the Capitol building, clips aired Monday show Chansley — clad in his eye-catching horned fur headdress with red, white and blue face paint and holding an American flag and a bullhorn — leisurely strolling through the building, hardly being challenged or acknowledged by police.
At times, Chansley walked alone in the hallways on the Senate side of the Capitol, occasionally pausing to look at his phone.
In September 2021, Chansley pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding and was sentenced to 41 months in prison that November.
According to a timeline of events — compiled by the Justice Department and upon which Chansley signed off as part of his guilty plea — the Navy veteran from Arizona was one of the first 30 rioters to enter the Capitol at around 2:14 p.m. on Jan. 6 through doors that had been busted open from the inside.
Despite disobeying orders to leave the building and, in the DOJ’s words, “using his bullhorn to rile up the crowd and demand that lawmakers be brought out,” Chansley was allowed to climb the stairs to the Senate viewing gallery, from where, according to the government, he “scream[ed] obscenities … while other rioters flooded the Chamber below.”
After leaving the gallery, Chansley encountered Capitol Police Officer Keith Robishaw, whom Chansley had confronted with his bullhorn earlier. When Robishaw again asked Chansley to leave the building, prosecutors said, the rioter “insisted that others were already on the Senate floor and he was going to join them.”
For several minutes, the video shows, Robishaw and another officer follow Chansley as he tried to enter the Senate chamber. At one point, Robishaw tried a locked door with the Senate seal etched on its frosted glass.
At another point, Chansley and the officers pass a group of seven other cops, who seem to pay them no mind.
Chansley and the two officers eventually find an unlocked door and one of the policemen holds it open after Chansley lets himself onto the Senate floor. The DOJ timeline confirmed that Robishaw followed Chansley into the chamber as the “Shaman” took the seat on the dais recently occupied by then-Vice President Mike Pence.
“Thank you, heavenly father, for taking the inspiration needed to these police officers to allow us into this building,” Chansley intoned into his bullhorn during an impromptu “prayer” from the dais.
In a statement Monday, the Capitol Police pointed The Post to comments by Robishaw in the 2021 HBO documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol.”
“The sheer number of them compared to us, I knew ahead there was no way we could all get physical with them,” Robishaw said, “so I took it upon myself to try to talk to them.”
“The officer is then seen on video walking behind Chansley as Chansley walks into the Senate Chamber,” Capitol Police said. “Moments earlier our officers and agents had to evacuate the Senate Chamber, which was closed to the public, to rush elected officials and staffers to safety. After that, multiple people snuck into the Chamber. At any given time, the officer is outnumbered by more than 20 or more people. At this point, it is clear the officer is trying to get everyone out of the Chamber.”
In the documentary, Robishaw recalled: “I walked in behind [Chansley] and that is when I realized I am alone now. I was by myself.”
Previously released video shows Robishaw asking the rioters: “Any chance I could get you guys to leave the Senate wing?”
“I can’t do anything, you know, all I can do is shout orders and if they listen, great, and if they don’t I cannot force them,” Robishaw told HBO before repeating: “I am by myself.”
Ultimately, the DOJ said, Capitol and DC Metropolitan police arrived and cleared the chamber at around 3:09 p.m., nearly an hour after Chansley entered the building.