An attorney for the so-called “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley asked federal prosecutors repeatedly for all videos showing his client inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, yet told The Daily Wire he never received the bombshell – and potentially exculpatory – footage aired Monday night by Tucker Carlson.
Albert Watkins, whose client Jacob Chansley pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with the Capitol riot and was sentenced to 41 months in prison, said Department of Justice prosecutors were legally bound to turn over the footage. Clips shown on Carlson’s Fox News Channel program show Chansley walking freely and peaceably through the building, often accompanied by multiple police officers.
“We did not receive that video footage,” Watkins said. “We asked for it, and not just once or twice. Whether we asked for it or not is irrelevant because the government had an absolute, non-compromisible duty to disclose that video and they did not do so.”
“And all the while, they were actively representing to the court and the American people that Jake was a leader, leading the charge into the Capitol,” he said. “They did not disclose that footage because it ran contrary to their rote narrative.”
Watkins, an attorney for nearly 40 years, told The Daily Wire he was stunned to see the footage, which he could have used to defend Chansley.
“I’ve never seen anything so vile as what I’m seeing right now,” he said. “It’s a departure from a pretty high standard they’ve maintained for a long time. Anyone who needs to have belief in the integrity of our justice system, whether they’re a left-wing New England academic or a raging right-winger, needs to say that this is really wrong and f—ing it up for everyone.”
Watkins said anger now being focused on Carlson for locating and airing the footage should be directed at prosecutors who appeared to violate rules established in the landmark Supreme Court case U.S. v Brady, which cemented that prosecutors must turn over relevant information to defense attorneys, particularly exculpatory evidence.
“Looking at the news, half of it is getting mad at Tucker,” Watkins said. “What the f— does Tucker have to do with any of this? Except that he was smart enough to get it in our faces.”
“It’s appalling,” he continued. “Whether you’re right-leaning, you like Tucker Carlson, you hate Tucker Carlson, is irrelevant. This is about putting a dagger in the heart of our justice system. And the person holding the dagger and thrusting it with all its might is our Department of Justice. This required collaboration from the top of the Justice Department right down to the Assistant U.S. Attorney lying to me, a fellow officer of the court, knowing I had a duty to put my client in the best position I could based on the evidence.”
Chansley in September of 2021 pleaded guilty to unlawfully obstructing an official proceeding. Watkins no longer represents him.
Kimberly Paschall, the assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who Watkins said lied, did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesman for her boss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, declined to comment even though Chansley’s case is not ongoing.
Federal Judge Royce Lamberth, who presided over the case, should sanction the federal prosecutors, Watkins said.
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