- Jacob Chansley, the most notorious of the January 6 Capitol riot defendants, has appointed a new attorney and may begin a long-shot bid to end his recent guilty plea and his 41-month prison sentence.
- According to a press release from a legal non-profit group founded by John Pearce, Chansley can also claim that his other attorney, Albert Watkins, provided ineffective assistance during the criminal case, who he says is no longer part of Chansley’s. represent.
- Pierce has represented 17 other Capitol riot defendants, among them members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups.
- Pierce also once represented Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted last week of fatally shooting two people and injuring a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jacob Chansley, the most infamous “Cuneon magician” of the January 6 Capitol riot defendants, has hired a new lawyer and may begin a long-shot bid to end his recent guilty plea and his 41-month prison sentence , according to a court filing and press release Monday.
According to a press release from a legal non-profit group founded by John Pierce, 34-year-old Chansley can also claim that his other lawyer, Albert Watkins, provided ineffective assistance during the criminal case, which lawyers say he no longer has. represent the chancel.
It is extremely difficult to overturn a guilty plea and subsequent conviction in federal court on appeal. However, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel is a possible way to reverse a guilty plea.
And Chansley’s diagnosis of mental illness may make it easier for Pierce to argue that her plea was not fully informed.
During plea hearings, judges remind defendants that they are waiving their rights of appeal when they admit to guilt, and specifically ask them whether they understand that fact.
Pierce has represented 17 other Capitol riot defendants, among them members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups.
Pierce also represented Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old Illinois man who was charged with reckless manslaughter during civil unrest in August 2020 for fatally shooting two people and injuring a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, among others. Allegations were made.
Rittenhouse, who fired Pierce in February, was acquitted of all charges on Friday after a trial.
Less than a week after Chansley made a sudden apparent face-off about his emotionally charged attack on the Capitol complex — shirtless, javelin-wielding, wearing face paint and a fur hat with horns — hundreds of other Trumps. with supporters. The riots disrupted then-President Donald Trump’s ongoing confirmation from a joint session of Congress of President Joe Biden’s defeat in the 2020 election.
“I was wrong to enter the Capitol. I have no excuse. No excuse,” Chansley told Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington federal court on Wednesday when he was sentenced for obstructing congressional proceedings Was.
“The behavior is unforgivable.”
“I broke the law, and if I believe in freedom, and if I believe in law and order, and I believe in responsibility, then I must do what Gandhi would do, and take responsibility,” Chansley said. , whose prison term had ended at the low end of the one recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.
The Phoenix, Arizona, resident, was represented in that proceeding, as well as in her September guilty plea and in the months following her arrest by Watkins in January.
On Monday, Pierce filed a notice to appear on Chancellor’s behalf in court, indicating that he would represent Chancellor.
Watkins has not filed any paperwork to show that he is withdrawing from the case. Such paperwork is required for an attorney to cease representing a party in a case.
In a press release, the National Constitutional Law Union, which Pearce founded, said, “Mr. Chansley is no longer represented, for any purpose, by attorney Albert Watkins.”
“Mr. Chansley will follow all remedies available to him under the Constitution and federal statutory law with respect to the outcome of a criminal trial by the United States Department of Justice against him,” the press release said.
“This includes a possible direct appeal of his conviction and conviction to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as well as claims of ‘ineffective aid of attorney’ at the appropriate location.”
A phone number in court filed Monday for Pierce’s office in Los Angeles gave a message that it was no longer in service. Neither he nor the group that issued the press release immediately responded to an email seeking comment.
Watkins did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In August, federal prosecutors warned a Washington judge in another Capitol riot case that Pierce had disappeared from court appearance amid conflicting excuses that claimed he had been diagnosed with covid and on a ventilator. Was admitted to the hospital.
Prosecutors also noted in a filing that Pierce’s aide Ryan Marshall — who was appearing in Pierce’s absence — “is not a licensed attorney.” Prosecutors said Marshall also faced two separate criminal cases pending against him in Pennsylvania.
Pierce soon re-emerged, and continued to represent the riot defendants.