QAnon Follower Who Chased Officer On Jan. 6 Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison

A federal judge on Friday sentenced an Iowa man to five years in prison for leading the mob that chased U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman on Jan. 6, 2021.

Douglas Jensen, of Des Moines, was convicted by a jury in September of five felony and two misdemeanor counts, including counts of obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding police. In a sentencing memo filed last week, federal prosecutors argued Jensen should serve 64 months in prison, or more than five years, for being a “ringleader” during the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.

“He scaled a twenty-plus-foot wall so that he could be one of the very first rioters to break into the building and disrupt the proceedings in Congress,” prosecutors wrote in the memo.

Once inside, prosecutors said, Jensen led a group of armed rioters in a “menacing pursuit” of Goodman. Goodman eventually led the group away from the Senate Chamber and into the Ohio Clock Corridor, where Jensen urged police to arrest then-Vice President Mike Pence to stop the certification of the 2020 election. After being removed from the building, Jensen entered a second time and again had to be physically escorted out.

At trial, Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, described the Des Moines construction worker as a man who’d fallen deeply down the “rabbit hole” of QAnon — a conspiracy theory holding that former President Donald Trump was engaged in a global battle against a Satanic cabal of child sex abusers. A key element of the QAnon conspiracy theory is the coming of “the storm,” which is the day that Trump would supposedly begin the mass arrest of members of the cabal, the so-called “deep state” and prominent Democrats. That, Davis told jurors, is what Jensen thought was happening on Jan. 6.

“He believed 100% in QAnon. He believed on Jan. 6 the storm was going to arrive and police were going to arrest all the corrupt politicians,” Davis said during trial. “And that included Mike Pence.”

In his sentencing memo asking for 27 months in prison, Davis said Jensen did not come to D.C. dressed for combat but rather as a “walking advertisement for QAnon.” Sleep-deprived and “overwhelmed by conspiracy theories,” Davis said, Jensen was easily steered to the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Ellipse.

“He believed that he had the support of the former president and fully expected the perceived wrong was going to be corrected,” Davis wrote in his memo. “He was wrong.”

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly granted the government’s requests for significant enhancements under provisions for obstructing the administration of justice. But, he said, even if he hadn’t he still would have varied upward because of the seriousness of Jensen’s offense.

“You played a significant role in a very black day in our country,” Kelly said.

Kelly ordered Jensen to serve 60 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. Jensen will also have to pay a $520 special assessment and $2,000 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol.

Jensen will receive credit for the significant period he’s already spent in pretrial detention. He was arrested Jan. 8, 2021, after turning himself in to local police in Des Moines, and remained in custody until July 2021 when Kelly released him. But Jensen was ordered back into detention two months later after violating the terms of his release by watching a “cyber symposium” hosted by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. Jensen has remained in pretrial detention since that time, and has cumulatively already served more than 20 months behind bars.


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