The Justice Department has officially refuted claims that protesters who invaded the US Capitol building wanted to capture and assassinate elected officials. On Friday, a federal prosecutor in Arizona asked a magistrate judge to redact the line in a court filing against Jacob Anthony Chansley, which says the suspect had tried to capture and assassinate lawmakers.
The suspect is believed to have led the charge into the Capitol building in the insurrection of January 6. Chansley was the man wearing a bullhorn and carrying a spear, whose photos at the Capitol have since gone viral on social media.
The new move by prosecutors came after Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney in Washington, DC, said at a press briefing that there was no evidence to suggest that the intruders had wanted to capture and kill anyone when they invaded the building.
Todd Allison, a line prosecutor for the Justice Department in Arizona, said the prosecuting team would not want to mislead the court using any particular evidence. Chansley is expected to remain in jail until his case goes to trial. The DOJ had painted him as an individual capable of inciting violence if left off the hook. His case would eventually be tried in a federal court in DC.
The line by the prosecuting team was a shocking revelation of what happened behind closed doors in the Capitol when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building on January 6. Lawyers for the DOJ have only recently begun to capture the events that played out, CNN reports.
However, the lawyer for Chansley is arguing that the suspect is not predisposed to violence. Al Watkins, the lawyer for the suspect, said his client is just a passionate Trump supporter. He noted that Chansley did not cross over any police lines and also did not assault anybody. He said he hoped his client is given a presidential pardon.
Prosecutors said Chansley wrote down a threatening note after standing in the podium where Vice President Mike Pence had stood that morning. However, Chansley told prosecutors that his message was not a threat. On the other hand, the suspect labeled Pence as a child-trafficking traitor while also bashing other politicians such as President-elect Joe Biden.
Chansley also had it in mind to attend the inauguration and begin another round of protest before law enforcement agents apprehended him.
While arguing that Chansley shouldn’t be released from jail, prosecutors said he was a flight risk and could raise money within a short while to evade the authorities, as he was a ranking figure of QAnon – a group with anti-government conspiracy theory ideology. Chansley is also alleged to be a mental patient who regularly abuses drugs.
In another case in Texas, the prosecutors alleged that a suspect with a military background had tried to restrain lawmakers. Prosecutors allege that Larry Rendell Brock, a retired Air Force Reserve officer, went into the Capitol holding a white cuff. Arguing in court, prosecutors said the sole aim of Brock was to restrain federal lawmakers before they were taken to safety.
Brock denied the allegations by prosecutors. He explained that he picked the cuff from the floor and had intended to give it back to the police. However, he holds the opinion that the election was rigged against Trump.