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Newly released ‘QAnon Shaman’ just can’t keep his mouth shut

Stephanie Keith/Reuters

Just hours after being released from federal custody on Thursday, Jacob Chansley, the Jan. 6 convicted rioter nicknamed “Qanon Shaman” for his distinctive Capitol riot gear, is back on Twitter. And it looks like he’s not giving up the bit.

In his first post, Chansley uploaded a computer-generated image of himself screaming in the back of a police cruiser, while wearing his eponymous headdress and red, white and blue face paint. The caption was just one word: “FREEDOM!!!”

Shortly after, Chansley posted a five-minute clip to the “Forbidden Truth Podcast” Twitter account. It contained a rambling monologue in which he insisted that he had “learned many lessons during the trial that God has bestowed on me over the past two and a half years”.

“I have no animosity or hatred towards the federal government of the United States,” Chansley said. “And I have forgiven my captors, and I pray for them.”

It was that lenient attitude that Chansley’s attorney, Al Watkins, referred to in a gushing statement after his release from a halfway house on Thursday.

“Jake is remarkably intelligent, peaceful at heart and a sweet young man with a very bright future,” Watkins said.

But this darker last half of Chansley’s video contained several veiled references to her continued quest for “the truth” — and an ongoing fight against “global corruption” that echoes the language of conspiracy theories like QAnon.

“The final lesson I will share is the power we each wield when we live and speak the truth,” Chansley said. “Speaking the truth can topple corrupt empires and free entire nations that have been enslaved by illusions. The Buddha once said that three things cannot be hidden for long: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

It’s unclear what specific “truth” Chansley was referring to.

Chansley did not mention Donald Trump, January 6, or the 2020 election directly in the video, but he did point to “obvious” signs of international corruption.

“While there are those who will say things in the world are only getting worse, I affirm that things are not getting worse,” Chansley said. Rather, “the truth of global corruption is only becoming more evident”.

But Watkins, whose statement Thursday morning preceded Chansley’s tweets and video, said he remained optimistic, despite his client’s immediate return to conspiratorial rhetoric.

“I’m still very optimistic,” Watkins told The Daily Beast, adding that the healing process for someone with “vulnerabilities” – like Chansley – “is one that will involve a lifetime of focus and introspection.”

“I’m not a doctor, what I am is a lawyer,” he added. “And what I’m advocating right now is for there to be patience and compassion on the part of the public…I worry about Jake every day, practically every minute of every day. He made such an impression on me.

Watkins previously said Chansley was “duped” by Trump.

For Chansley, however, the battle seems to be raging.

“Gandhi once said, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ It looks like I’ve already gone through the first three stages of this process,” Chansley said in her post-release video. “Now it’s just a matter of winning.”

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