False: Surveillance footage proves Capitol Police helped QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley on January 6 and acted as his 'tour guide.'

By: Rahul Adhikari
March 14 2023

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False: Surveillance footage proves Capitol Police helped QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley on January 6 and acted as his 'tour guide.'


The Verdict False

The Capitol Police chief said the attackers outnumbered the police personnel, requiring de-escalation tactics to be used. They did not help the mob.

Claim ID 44ddd3d3


On January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building to protest the allegedly "rigged" elections. Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Weeks before the handover of power, Trump addressed a rally near the White House to protest the vote-counting process and urged the crowd to march to the Capitol building peacefully. 

Following Trump's address, a mob that included right-wing extremist organizations and conspiracy theorist Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman, forcefully entered the Capitol building while elected members of both the House and Senate were meeting to certify the vote count of the election. The incident has been under investigation by several authorities, and several attackers, including Chansely, have been prosecuted.

Amid this, Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently released surveillance footage of the attack, claiming Capitol Police helped Chansley and acted as his "tour guide." The footage shows Chansley walking around the Capitol building, followed by a few police officers, which Carlson claims proves the police helped the mob. Several users shared the Fox News report on social media; one Facebook post has over 13,000 views, more than 1,000 likes, and 645 users shared the video. Similar posts on Twitter have received high engagement.

In Fact

CNN reports that U.S. Capitol police Chief J Thomas Manger refuted the claim. This was corroborated by ABC News reporter Katherine Faulders, who shared an internal memo on Twitter showing that Manger said the Fox News program was "filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack." The memo, signed by Manger, also read, "One false allegation is that our officers helped the rioters and acted as 'tour guides.' This is outrageous and false. This Department stands by the officers in the video that was shown last night. I don't have to remind you how outnumbered our officers were on January 6. Those officers did their best to use de-escalation tactics to try to talk rioters into getting each other to leave the building." Manger further criticized the program, saying it "conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video."

HBO released a documentary on the Capitol attack, which contained interviews with several witnesses, including Capitol police officer Keith Robishaw. Around the 45-minute mark in the documentary, Robishaw said, "There's people in the senate chambers, and that's when I noticed the Shaman. I walk in behind him, and that's when I realized I was alone now. I was by myself." In the film, Robishaw asks Chansley to leave the senate chambers: "Any chance I could get you guys to leave the Senate wing?" The police officer clarified his actions, saying, "He gets up on the podium, and, in my mind, I was like, I can't do anything, you know? I can only do is shout orders. If they listen, great, if they don't, I can't force them. I'm by myself." Throughout the film, the Capitol Police can be seen trying to control the situation inside the chambers. 

Chansley, who gained prominence for his horned bearskin outfit during the storming of the Capitol, was arrested on January 9, 2021. On November 17, 2021, he was found guilty and sentenced to 41 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release. In September 2021, Chansley signed a plea agreement admitting his guilt, which stated that he had refused to obey the instructions of Capitol Police, occupied the Senate dais, and screamed obscenities in the gallery of the building. He agreed that the accounts of the events were "true and accurate" and represented some of his conduct and his involvement in illegal activity. Chansley's admission of guilt further refutes the claim the police acted as a "tour guide."

The Verdict

The Capitol Police chief has refuted Tucker Carlson's claim that the officers inside the building helped Jacob Chansley during the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Capitol Police officers have also given statements that they attempted to peacefully ask Chansley and others to leave. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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