Fact check: False claim about Jacob Chansley, the QAnon shaman, amid Jan. 6 tapes reveal

The claim: Jan. 6 video shows Jacob Chansley was led entire time by Capitol Police

A March 7 Facebook post (direct link, archived link) makes a claim about Jacob Chansley, widely known as the QAnon shaman, and his presence at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

"Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building," the post reads.

A tweet with the same claim generated over 250,000 likes in less than a week, and was shared on Facebook nearly 5,000 times. Similar posts have amassed more than a thousand interactions on Instagram.

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Our rating: False

A Capitol Police spokesperson said Chansley – who also goes by the name Jake Angeli – was not accompanied at all times by police in the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. A court document and firsthand account show that police repeatedly asked Chansley to leave the building.

Chansley not accompanied by police at all times and repeatedly asked to leave

In late February, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Carlson aired clips of that footage on his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” for the first time on March 6.

The video referenced in the post was from that footage and shows various clips of Chansley walking down the halls of the Capitol building while Capitol Police follow him.

But contrary to the post’s claim, the Capitol Police did not accompany Chansley through the building at all times, according to Tim Barber, a Capitol Police spokesperson.

Fact check: Arrests were made inside Capitol building on Jan. 6, and after

A court document, firsthand account and other video footage also support Barber's statement and show that Capitol Police repeatedly asked Chansley to leave the building.

Chansley was arrested Jan. 9, 2021 – three days after the Capitol riot – and faced with six charges. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021.

A statement from the government, signed by Chansley and his attorney to be "true and accurate," says that Chansley unlawfully entered the Capitol building through a broken down door with a mob of rioters. A video clip of the initial break-in to the building does not show Chansley accompanied by the police as he enters the building.

Sen. Chuck Schumer calls Tucker Carlson's Fox News segment on Jan. 6 riots 'shameful'
Sen. Chuck Schumer calls Tucker Carlson's Fox News segment on Jan. 6 riots 'shameful'

The group then moved to the second floor of the Senate side of the building where it was met by several Capitol Police officers who instructed them “to peacefully leave the building,” according to the statement. Chansley challenged Capitol Police officer Keith Robishaw to let them pass, ultimately “using his bullhorn to rile up the crowd.”

Chansley then "entered the gallery of the Senate alone" and “proceeded to scream obscenities,” the statement says.

After Chansley moved to the Senate chamber, Robishaw asked him multiple times to leave, according to the statement. In the HBO documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol,” Robishaw recounts being the only police officer in the chamber at the time.

"And, in my mind, I was like, ‘I can’t do anything,’ you know?" Robishaw said. "I can only do is, you know, shout orders, and if they listen, great. If they don’t, I can’t force them. I’m by myself."

Several law enforcement officers then joined Robishaw to clear the rioters from the chamber, according to the statement.

In his show, Carlson claimed Capitol Police acted as tour guides for Chansley. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said in an internal department memo that the claim was both “outrageous and false,” as USA TODAY reported.

Chansley is a supporter of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims there is a global cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic child sex traffickers. The conspiracy theory's claims have been widely debunked.

USA TODAY reached out to Fox News and the social media users who shared the claim for comment.

The Associated Press also debunked this claim.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim about QAnon shaman amid Jan. 6 tape reveal