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Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Some of the January 6 rioters who are facing federal criminal charges are now saying, as part of their defense, that they were misled, brainwashed or unfairly manipulated by then-President Donald Trump, MAGA media and/or the QAnon cult. And one of the rioters who is using that type of defense is QAnon supporter Doug Jensen, who is saying that he was a "victim" of false information from the far-right conspiracy movement.
Jensen is presently incarcerated, and a motion filed by his attorney argues that he should be released from jail while awaiting trial because he was misled by QAnon. The motion stated, "Doug Jensen was not an intended part of any group or mob at any time that day. He simply went to observe 'The Storm.' He was at the front of the crowd, but in no way leading anyone. He was in front of everyone for the now disclosed silly reason to get Q recognized for 'The Storm' that was about to take place."
According to the QAnon conspiracy theory, the United States' federal government was invaded by an international cabal of child sex traffickers, pedophiles, Satanists and cannibals — and that Trump was elected in 2016 to fight the cabal. In 2020, QAnon claimed that "The Storm" would occur when its battle against the cabal escalated.
As ridiculous as QAnon's beliefs are, some QAnon supporters have been elected to Congress, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
In video taken during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, Jensen can be seen in his QAnon shirt leading others in the mob as he chased after Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman:
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way out… https://t.co/Q7MfKCbFE3— Igor Bobic (@Igor Bobic)1609963774.0
Jensen is facing seven federal charges, including obstructing a law enforcement officer and violent unlawful entry.
In an article published by Law & Crime on June 7, reporter Jerry Lambe explains, "Following his arrest in January, FBI Special Agent Tyler Johnson noted that Jensen 'said he went to D.C. to receive big news from Donald Trump,' and claimed to still be a steadfast believer of QAnon. Those theories, in short, purport that the world is run by a cabal of Satanist pedophiles which Trump was ordained to take down."
Lambe continues, "Jensen allegedly told Special Agent Johnson that he believed Mike Pence and several members of Congress were secretly going to be arrested on January 6, and even asked if law enforcement officials could 'let me in on that if you know those arrests are real.' Jensen also admitted to having a knife on him when he was inside the Capitol, though he claimed it was just his work pocketknife which he had on him 'for protection.'"
The motion calling for Jensen's pretrial release describes his actions on January 6 as "misguided" but argues that he thought he was being patriotic.
"As misguided as he was," the motion stated, "he believed he was a patriot waiting to observe the events anticipated by 'The Storm.' To be certain, Jensen refused to obey Officer Goodman's order to stop and leave. And he did continue to follow him up the steps inside the Capitol. But Jensen neither threatened physical harm to anyone, nor did he destroy any property."
Jensen's attorney argued, "For reasons he does not even understand today, he became a 'true believer' and was convinced he doing a noble service by becoming a digital soldier for 'Q.' Maybe it was mid-life crisis, the pandemic — or perhaps the message just seemed to elevate him from his ordinary life to an exalted status with an honorable goal. In any event, he fell victim to this barrage of internet-sourced info and came to the Capitol, at the direction of the president of the United States, to demonstrate that he was a 'true patriot.'"
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