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“Strong evidence” Feds walk back claims Capitol rioters meant to 'capture and assassinate' elected officials

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“Strong evidence” Feds walk back claims Capitol rioters meant to 'capture and assassinate' elected officials

2021-01-16 06:01:02

By Dwaipayan

Federal authorities said Friday that there is "no direct evidence of kill and capture teams" among the Capitol rioters, walking back claims outlined in court documents that attackers sought to apprehend and "assassinate elected officials."

Acting D.C. U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin, who is leading the sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6 assault, referenced federal prosecutors' assertions in the U.S. District Court of Arizona supporting the detention of riot suspect Jacob Anthony Chansley, who was widely photographed in face paint and a horned helmet leading part of the mob.

"Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government," the filing stated. 

The initial contention that elected officials were targeted was offered in support of claims that Chansley, also known as "Jake Angeli" and the "QAnon Shaman," represented a continuing threat to the public and should remain in custody.

But Sherwin contradicted the alarming allegation, suggesting that there was a disconnect among federal authorities or that local prosecutors acted on information that was not known to officials in Washington.

Chansley also allegedly left a note on the Senate Chamber dais, where Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding, that warned: “It's only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

"When questioned as to the meaning of that statement, Chansley went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators, specifically naming Vice President Mike Pence, former President Barack Obama, former Senator Hillary Clinton and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden as infiltrators involved in various types of wrongdoing. Although he stated his note was not a threat, the Government strongly disagrees," the filing reads.

Chansley was arrested by the Phoenix FBI after sitting down for an interview with prosecutors. Chansley was unaware at the time of the interview that there was a warrant for his arrest.

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