Trump supporters who seized the U.S. Capitol last week planned “to capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors said in a new court filing, giving the most chilling description yet of last week’s assault on the Capitol.
The revelation was included in a memo seeking to keep Jacob Anthony Chansley, who rallied people inside the Capitol using a bullhorn, in detention. According to Capitol Police information included in the filing, Chansley was notable for his headdress, face paint and carrying of a six-foot spear.
“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,” government prosecutors wrote, according to CNN.
“Chansley loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president,” Chansley’s attorney Al Watkins, appearing on CNN Thursday night, said.
Prosecutors describe those who took over the Capitol as “insurrectionists” and offer new details about Chansley’s role in the violent siege last week, including that after standing at the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had stood that morning, Chansley wrote a note saying “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”
Chansley later told the FBI he did not mean the note as a threat but said the Vice President was a “child-trafficking traitor” and went on a long diatribe about Pence, Biden and other politicians as traitors.
Prosecutors accuse Chansley of being a flight risk who can quickly raise money through non-traditional means as “one of the leaders and mascots of QAnon, a group commonly referred to as a cult (which preaches debunked and fictitious anti-government conspiracy theory).”
In a separate filing, prosecutors in Texas court alleged that a retired Air Force reservist who was was photographed roaming the Senate chamber carrying plastic zip tie-like restraints intended to restrain lawmakers.
Prosecutors argue that Larry Rendell Brock, a 53-year-old retired Air Force Reserve officer who was arrested in Texas, “intended to use the zip-ties to restrain those he viewed as enemies — presumably, federal lawmakers, who had moments before been evacuated from the chamber,” CNN reported, citing Erin Dooley, a spokeswoman for the United States Attorney’s Office, in the Northern District of Texas.
According to court filings, prosecutors allege that Brock posted on Facebook about buying body armor and a helmet for a “civil war” and believed the US election was being certified by a “hostile governing force.”
The filings come as the government has begun describing in more alarming terms what transpired.