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Capitol rioter who chased officer near Senate chamber sentenced to 5 years in prison

By Holmes Lybrand

The rioter at the front of a mob that chased US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up flights of stairs near the Senate chamber on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to five years behind bars.

Douglas Jensen, who prosecutors say was one of the first 10 rioters to enter the Capitol during the attack, was convicted by a jury in September of each of the seven charges he faced, including obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting a police officer.

“You, by your own actions, put yourself at the forefront of that mob,” Judge Timothy Kelly said to Jensen before handing down his verdict Friday, which includes 36 months of supervised release after he serves his time and $2,000 in restitution for damage to the Capitol.

Kelly said that the long history of a peaceful transition of power in the US was “snapped” by Jensen and others. “We can’t get that back, it’s broken.”

“We cannot, as a country, have what happened on January 6, 2021, ever happen again,” Kelly added.

Jensen, dressed in a shirt with the logo of QAnon — a baseless conspiracy theory about a deep-state pedophilic cabal that adherents thought former-President Donald Trump would expose — scaled a 20-foot wall on January 6 before breaking into the Capitol and demanding that Capitol Police arrest then-Vice President Mike Pence, prosecutors said.

“He believed the ‘storm’ had arrived and that corrupt politicians were going to be arrested,” Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, wrote in a court filing, referring to the belief by QAnon followers in a day of reckoning for corrupt politicians and deep state operatives.

After nearly two years behind bars, Davis wrote, Jensen has moved on from his QAnon beliefs and Trump’s false claims of election fraud. “He has had more than enough time to dwell upon his actions,” his attorney wrote. “He wants to return to his normal life, raise his children, and be with his wife.”

During the attack, Goodman, who was being chased by Jensen and others in the mob, led the group away from the Senate chamber and up to an area guarded by more police officers, where Jensen faced off with police for nearly 30 minutes.

“What would have happened if the group you led that day turned the other way,” toward the Capitol, Kelly said to Jensen. “God only knows.”

US Capitol Police Inspector Tom Lloyd, who gave a statement during Friday’s sentencing, said “there would have been tremendous bloodshed” were it not for Goodman’s actions that day.

According to prosecutors, Jensen told the FBI in an interview after January 6 that what he did that day “would have been worth it” if Trump had remained in power.

Before being sentenced, Jensen did not apologize for his actions on January 6 but said he couldn’t change the past and that he wanted “to go back to being a family man” and return to his life before “getting involved in politics.”

In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said that “Jensen was a ringleader during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, working to rile up the crowd and encourage others to follow him into and through the building.”

Before a deputy US Marshal escorted him out of the courtroom, Jensen blew a kiss to his wife, sitting in the audience, who returned one to him.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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