PHOENIX (KPNX) — Jake Chansley made front pages throughout the world. Clad in a horned hat, face paint, carrying a spear all in the halls of Congress, his image spread everywhere.
Now he is in custody, charged with crimes related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia says the number of people eventually charged could reach into the thousands as investigators go through social media, videos and other evidence to arrest people who took part in the Capitol riot.
"My son is a great patriot, a veteran, a person who loves this country,” Martha Chansley, his mother, said.
Chansley said the attention has been surprising.
“I was surprised. I think at the time I don’t think he did anything wrong,” Martha said.
Chansley claims her son wasn’t part of the violence.
She said Jake told her that he simply walked through already open doors, roaming the halls and making his way to the Senate floor.
“If I'm not mistaken, isn’t it the people’s house?” Chansley said.
But according to federal law, it’s illegal to go on the floor of Congress without permission or to “engage in disorderly conduct to impede, disrupt, or disturb a session of congress."
After turning himself into the FBI, Jake Chansley is charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
“Well, I don’t have much to say about that. As far as a U.S. citizen, it should be our right to go into that building.” Martha said.
“Jake needs all the support he can get. He’s a great patriot and I love him.”
Jake Chansley, a resident of Phoenix, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the press release said.
"It is alleged that Chansley was identified as the man seen in media coverage who entered the Capitol building dressed in horns, a bearskin headdress, red, white and blue face paint, shirtless, and tan pants," the press release said.
The 33-year-old self-described "QAnon Shaman" told FBI investigators he and other "patriots" from Arizona came to the Capitol at the request of President Donald Trump.
Chansley gloated about the insurrection to NBC News on his way back to Phoenix.
“The fact we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker. I consider that a win,” he said.
“First off, that’s the first I'm hearing of that and I don’t know if he really said that,” Martha Chansley said. "Well I don’t really have anything to say about that. I guess he feels like it’s a win.”
Jake Chansley is due in court on Monday.
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