Jan. 6 mob leader found guilty, may receive 50-year prison sentence
The man charged with breaking into the Capitol building was described by his lawyer as just "confused" in an attempt to lessen his sentence for chasing a lone police officer.
US Justice Department prosecutors released a statement on Friday that Douglas Jensen of Iowa may receive more than 50 years in prison following a federal jury's decision in Washington DC on Friday to convict him over leading a group of Donald Trump supporters to chase a police officer around the US Capitol on the day of the Jan. 6 riots.
The QAnon conspiracy follower was seen in multiple photos of the riots as he donned a black T-shirt with a large “Q” on it, and the prosecuting party claimed that Jensen gathered and mobilized the group of supporters at the Capitol in 2021 as Congress was about to certify Joe Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump in the presidential election.
Jensen was among the first 10 people to invade the facility, and per the prosecutors' allegations, he climbed a wall at the Capitol and observed mob members barge into the Senate wing entrance’s windows and doors, before joining in on cornering a lone Capitol police officer, Eugene Goodman.
Goodman was chased up the stairs leading to the outside of the Senate chamber, with Jensen believed to have been carrying a knife with a three-inch blade in his pocket as he barked at the officers and ordered other police officers to step back and detain Trump’s then-VP, Mike Pence, who was threatened by Jensen's mob to be hanged if he didn’t stop Biden's certification for the electoral college win. He was located in Iowa and arrested by authorities two days later.
Goodman testified during Jensen’s trial on Friday, as prosecutors exhibited video footage of him carrying a baton in one hand in defense. Jensen's attorney described his client as “a terribly confused man” whose mindset was triggered by the ideology of QAnon and Covid lockdowns and further asserted that Jensen did not physically harm anyone at the time. However, it took the jury a mere four hours to convict Jensen as charged with five felonies: assaulting police, obstructing a congressional proceeding, interfering with law enforcement, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon.
In her testimony in July, White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson painted Trump as an angry, defiant president who was enabling armed supporters to avoid security screenings on the morning of January 6. More evidence and charges are bound to be brought up, as most recently, the chief records of the National Archives, Laurence Brewer, has requested that the US Secret Service investigate the possible unauthorized deletion of text messages on telephones belonging to the agency between January 5 and 6, 2021, the period during which Republican riots stormed the White House in an attempt to overturn the election results.
It isn't usual that US district courts give the harshest available punishment to convicts, even if they decide to go through the trial or plead guilty in advance, knowing that the harshest sentence given to anyone guilty of contributing to the deadly Capitol attack was seven years and three months.
On the other hand, Goodman was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by the Senate for leading the violent gang of rioters away from politicians who eventually ended up certifying Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.
A bipartisan Senate conclusion reported seven deaths and more than 140 police officers injured as a result of the attacks and more than 870 people had been charged with roles in the insurrection.