Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge In Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Jacob Chansley Occupied Vice President’s Seat in Senate Chamber
WASHINGTON - Jacob Anthony Chansley, a.k.a. Jake Angeli, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona, pleaded guilty today to obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony, for his role in the crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Chansley faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release. The Honorable Royce C. Lamberth, who accepted the guilty plea, scheduled sentencing for Nov. 17, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to court papers filed today, on the afternoon of Jan. 6, Chansley was among the crowd that passed the police line at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. He was shirtless, wearing a Viking hat with fur and horns, wearing red, white, and blue face paint, and carrying an American flag tied to a pole with a sharp object at the tip and a bullhorn. He and others in the crowd passed police lines and entered the scaffolding erected in advance of the Inauguration on top of the staircase heading up to the Lower West Terrace of the building. They then entered the Upper West Terrace at approximately 2:10 p.m., as the certification proceedings were still under way. Chansley continued into the building through a broken door at approximately 2:14 p.m., one of the first 30 rioters to get inside.
Chansley continued moving, reaching the Gallery of the Senate and then the Senate floor. He then scaled the Senate dais, taking the seat that Vice President Mike Pence had occupied an hour earlier.
He proceeded to take pictures of himself on the dais and refused to vacate the seat when asked to do so by law enforcement. Instead, Chansley stated that “Mike Pence is a f----ing traitor” and wrote a note on available paper on the dais, stating “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!” He further called other rioters up to the dais and led them in an incantation over his bullhorn. He was cleared from the Chamber at approximately 3:09 p.m.
Chansley was arrested Jan. 9, 2021 and has been in custody ever since.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. It is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office.
In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.