'QAnon Shaman' and other Capitol riot suspects issue apologies as reality sets in: report

'QAnon Shaman' and other Capitol riot suspects issue apologies as reality sets in: report
Lindsay Beyerstein

There's a surprisingly important lesson in the 'QAnon shaman' and his antics behind bars

As the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, reality is setting in for the alleged suspects facing charges.

According to the Associated Press, many of the high-profile suspects have had time to reflect on their actions and have issued statements of apology for their alleged participation in the deadly riots. Jacob Chansley — the helmet-wearing, self-proclaimed QAnon Shaman — was at the center of many highly publicized photos of the insurrection and appeared to take a sense of pride in his actions.

But one month later, he issued a statement of apology from prison. As part of his apology, Chansley asked for understanding as he came to grips with the weight of his actions. At the time, Chansley admitted that he now believes former President Donald Trump "was not honorable," according to The Independent.

"I am sorry for having aroused fear in the hearts of others. That was wrong. Period," Chansley wrote. "Please be patient with me and other peaceful people who, like me, are having a very difficult time piecing together all that happened to us, around us, and by us."

He added, "We are good people who care deeply about our country."

Others like Chansley have also expressed regret. Facing extensive evidence, including videos and footage that have been presented in court, dozens of Capitol rioters have come forward with apologies for storming the Capitol.

According to AL.com, Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola's attorney Jonathan Zucker noted that his client has expressed regret due to the significant financial strain his incarceration has put on his family. Pezzola's business, D Pezzola Flooring has also taken a hit in his absence and many of his employees are currently out of work. Pezzola is said to have apologized for the video he posted of himself "giving a triumphant speech inside the Capitol while smoking a 'victory' cigar," the publication reports.

Since his arrest, having time to reflect and see how things have revealed themselves, he now realizes he was duped into these "mistaken beliefs."

Chad Jones, Samuel Camargo, Bruno Joseph Cua, and a number of others have all issued apologies. Cua, an 18-year-old rioter, penned a letter to the judge expressing regret for his actions.

Although the consequences of the insurrection are sinking in for some, John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor, and lawyer on Capitol Hill, argued the rioters get what's coming to them.

Flannery said, "This is going to have consequences for these people for the rest of their lives — and it should."

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