Trump rioter Douglas Austin Jensen thought he invaded White House, not Capitol
Category: News & PoliticsVia: john-russell • 3 weeks ago • 10 comments
By: Dan Mangan (CNBC)
Published Tue, Jul 13 20212:30 PM EDTUpdated 3 Hours Ago Key Points
- One of the most notorious defendants charged in the Jan. 6 riot by Trump supporters thought that he and other rioters had invaded the White House, not the U.S. Capitol, newly released video reveals.
- "This is me touching the f------ White House, this is why we're here," bragged Douglas Austin Jensen as he was on the Capitol grounds, according to a selfie video from his own cellphone that day.
- Former President Donald Trump has been blamed for sparking the riot, having urged a throng of supporters at a rally to march to the Capitol and "fight like hell" against the confirmation of Biden's victory.
VIDEO0:3400:34 Trump rioter Douglas Austin Jensen thought he invaded White House during Capitol siege, video shows News Videos
One of the most notorious defendants charged in the Jan. 6 riot by Trump supporters thought that he and other rioters had invaded the White House that day and not the U.S. Capitol, newly released video reveals.
"This is me, touching the f------ White House," bragged Douglas Austin Jensen as he was stood on the Capitol grounds, according to a selfie video from his own cellphone that day, during which he also chased a police officer while leading a pack of rioters.
"This is why we're here."
"I am at the White House, just so you know," Jensen said after capturing on video other members of the mob gathered outside the Capitol building.
Jensen's lack of awareness about where he actually was played a role in the decision Tuesday by Washington federal court Judge Timothy Kelly to release Jensen after six months in jail into home confinement in Iowa.
Kelly reportedly said during a court hearing that Jensen does not seem as someone who could have planned the attack since he seemed to have "no basic understanding of where he even was that day."
Jensen, 41, was not the only supporter of then-President Donald Trump who was ignorant of the names of Washington landmarks as they swarmed outside and inside the Capitol and disrupted the confirmation by a joint session of Congress of the election of Joe Biden as president.
"Storm the White House, that's what we do," said someone else on video taken by Jensen, a resident of Des Moines.
But the third video from Jensen's phone released in Washington federal court shows that many people in the mob knew which country they were in, as they chanted "USA, USA!" while police in riot gear looked on.
Trump has been blamed for sparking the riot, having urged a throng of supporters at a rally outside the actual White House to march to the Capitol and "fight like hell" against the confirmation of Biden's victory. During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Trump praised the crowd at that rally as "peaceful people," "great people" and "patriots."
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting the riot. He was acquitted after a Senate trial, which took place after he left office.
Jensen, who is being held without bail, was one of the first people to breach the doors of the Capitol, according to prosecutors. He allegedly had a knife during the invasion.
Douglas Austen Jensen of Iowa, a supporter of President Donald Trump wearing a QAnon shirt, confronts police as Trump supporters demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, January 6, 2021. Mike Theiler | Reuters
After pushing inside, he led an enraged mob that chased Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman through hallways in the Capitol complex as the cop lured them away from the Senate chamber.
A self-proclaimed believer in the QAnon conspiracy, Jensen refused Goodman's orders to back up and raise his hands, but instead shouted at Goodman and "continued to advance in a menacing manner, with the crowd following behind him, forcing the officer to continue to retreat," an FBI agent wrote in a court document.
Jensen's actions were captured on surveillance video, which showed him wearing a "Q" t-shirt.
Jensen was arrested Jan. 8 and indicted three days later.
He is one of more than 500 people charged in connection with the riot, which left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and Ashli Babbit, a rioter who was shot by police as she tried to enter, through a broken window, an area near the House chamber.
Jensen told an FBI agent and a Des Moines police detective that he was the person seen leading the mob chasing Goodman in video published by the web site of The Guardian newspaper.
"Jensen specifically admitted chasing the Capitol Police officer up the stairs, and that he refused to obey the officer's lawful orders," the FBI agent wrote in a statement of facts filed in court.
"Jensen stated that he intentionally positioned himself to be among the first people inside the United States Capitol because he was wearing his 'Q' t-shirt and he wanted to have his t-shirt seen on video so that 'Q' could 'get the credit.'"
He is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disrupting the orderly conduct of government business; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, and obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.
He has pleaded not guilty in the case. A status conference in his case is set for July 27.
A judge, in ordering Jensen detained without bail in January, noted, "Mr. Jensen allegedly travelled halfway across the country from Iowa to the District of Columbia, attended a rally in support of former President Trump, joined rioters by climbing through a broken window to enter the Capitol while armed with a knife, led a mob chasing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up a flight of stairs in a menacing fashion, threatened to take the officer's baton, and refused to obey the officer's lawful orders to stop and leave."
Jensen was fired by his employer, Forrest and Associate Masonry, shortly after his arrest. The company disavowed his conduct.
The Des Moines Register has previously reported that Jensen pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespassing after being charged with fifth-degree theft in December 2006, and that he was sentenced to three days in jail after pleading guilty to domestic violence and disorderly conduct in Minnesota.