Washington — Jacob Chansley, the Capitol rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman” and arguably the most recognizable Jan. 6 defendant, has been transferred from a federal prison complex to a halfway house in Arizona, several months before he was initially set to be released.
Federal prison records indicate Chansley is currently at a “residential reentry management” facility in Phoenix, with a release date of May 25. He was originally projected to be released in July 2023, but federal prisoners can earn reductions in sentences over the course of their time behind bars.
Chansley was sentenced to 41 months prison in November 2021, two months after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of obstruction of an official proceeding. He also spent time in jail prior to his guilty plea and sentencing.
“Mr. Chansley’s projected release date from custody is May 25, 2023, via First Step Act release, Benjamin O’Cone, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons,said, referring to the Trump-era criminal justice reform legislation. Under the law, certain offenders have the opportunity to earn a potential early release for not only good behavior but for participating in classes and programs that prepare them for post-prison life.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors pushed back against claims that a video of Chansley that was shown by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson exonerated anyone in the mob at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“Chansley was not some passive, chaperoned observer of events for the roughly hour that he was unlawfully inside the Capitol,” prosecutors wrote. “He was part of the initial breach of the building; he confronted law enforcement for roughly 30 minutes just outside the Senate Chamber; he gained access to the gallery of the Senate along with other members of the mob (obviously, precluding any Senate business from occurring); and he gained access to and later left the Senate floor only after law enforcement was able to arrive en masse to remove him.”