WASHINGTON – A federal jury on Friday convicted a QAnon believer who chased down US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman on January 6, 2021, finding the defendant guilty of all charges against him.
Doug Jensen, the Iowa man who was one of the first 10 rioters to enter the Capitol during the uprising, went on trial this week and was found guilty of seven counts, including felony charges of disorderly conduct. civil, and assault, resist or obstruct officers.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 16. Jensen’s wife, April, cried when the verdicts were read.
Jensen has been in pretrial custody since last year. He was released in a high-intensity pretrial program, but a judge ordered him detained again after violating the conditions of his release by hosting an event hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, which promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
On January 6, Jensen filmed video from the base of the Capitol building, where he announced – inaccurately, but with great confidence – that he was at the White House. “Storm the White House! That’s what we do!” he said said in one video.
The government and Jensen’s defense team made their closing arguments Friday, before the jury of 10 men and two women began deliberating in the afternoon.
Prosecutors argued that Jensen was “the rioter who would not back down” in his determination to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
“Every obstacle that he encountered that day, he was ready to overcome,” said Assistant US Attorney Hava Arin Levenson Mirell. He scaled a 20-foot wall to reach the Capitol, inhaled clouds of pepper spray “like it was oxygen,” and passed through police lines.
Goodman, the USCP officer who evidence at Jensen’s trial, “had no backup” when he confronted a rioter, Mirell said. And the crowd, “under the command of the defender”, did not withdraw, despite the fact that the authorities asked him to.
“That was not a follow-the-leader game,” Mirell said. Jensen was “arming that crowd.”
In his closing statement, Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, painted his client as a “confused man” and a “lone wolf” who had fallen for QAnon conspiracy theories. “The pandemic has done very strange things to people” and “apparently, Mr. Jensen was one of them,” he said.
Davis said it took his client about 24 hours to figure out he was at the Capitol, not the White House, adding, “you show how confused and how mixed up his head is.”
He insisted that his client had not laid a hand on anyone and denied that Jensen took part in some of the chaotic scenes on the scaffold as alleged by prosecutors.
The government tried to dismiss those defenses in their rebuttal. The law does not require physical contact for an assault on an officer charge and if Jensen was truly confused, he would not have been able to get so close to Vice President Mike Pence during the riot, prosecutors argued. “That doesn’t happen through confusion,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen said.
More than 850 people were arrested and more than 350 convicted in connection with the Capitol attack.
This week, the FBI arrested five people associated with the far-right movement America Firstand a judge also sentenced former Army reservist and Adolf Hitler enthusiast who stormed the Capitol to four years in prison.
Zoë Richards helped.