WASHINGTON: Authorities announced new arrests and charges Saturday over the violent incursion into the US Capitol, including a tattoo-chested man in a horned headdress whose image was beamed around the world. That man, Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, and two others-one of them a newly elected state official from West Virginia-were charged in federal court in connection with the violence, according to the US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.
Chansley 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 statement alleged that Chansley was “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,” while carrying a long spear with an American flag tied to it.
Chansley’s seeming resemblance to singer Jay Kay sparked a worldwide buzz on social media, prompting the Jamiroquai frontman to issue a statement making clear that he was nowhere near Washington when the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. Chansley describes himself as a “digital soldier” of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a global liberal cult of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.
A police statement said Chansley called the FBI on Thursday to confirm his presence on Capitol Hill, telling law enforcement agents he came as part of a group from Arizona “at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to DC on January 6, 2021.” He had been spotted many times at pro-Trump events in Phoenix in recent months, wearing his distinctive headpiece. The two other men were Derrick Evans, 35, a recently elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, and Adam Johnson, 36, of Florida.
Several of the intruders made their identification simple. Evans was seen in video that he streamed live on his Facebook page, according to the US attorney’s office, shouting as he crossed the threshold into the Capitol, “We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
After calls from colleagues that he step down, Evans on Saturday submitted a letter of resignation to the state’s governor. “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians,” Evans said in a statement reported by local media.
“I hope (my resignation) helps to begin the healing process, so we can all move forward and come together as ‘One Nation, Under God.'” Johnson was seen in widely circulated photos showing him smiling and waving as he carries the lectern of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through the Capitol Rotunda.
Police identified him in part through a photograph posted to a social media account with the username “Adam Johnson,” showing the suspect posing in a Capitol hallway. The lectern was found one day later, abandoned in a corridor. The Justice Department said Friday that 15 others had been charged over the incursion, including one man accused of possessing bombs. – AFP