A jury in Washington, DC on Friday, after four hours of deliberation, convicted a prominent suspect in the US Capitol riots on all seven federal charges.
Doug Jensen, aof Iowa, was accused of being one of the first to breach the U.S. Capitol and was front and center in the crowd that chased U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up the Capitol steps on January 6, 2021.
Goodman testified at the trial that he felt hemmed in and swallowed by the crowd led by Jensen. Prosecutors showed video from the day of Goodman leading the crowd away from the Senate floor, where senators were hiding at the time. He said he ran into Senator Mitt Romney in the hall and urged him to return to the floor, where he would be safer.
He also testified that he had been hit on the head by an object thrown from the crowd. He recalled being ambushed by bear spray at one point and retreating to the Capitol Rotunda to wash his eyes. While at the Rotunda, Goodman vomited into a bucket before rushing outside to confront the rioters, according to his testimony.
Goodman told the court he was responding to an urgent radio call when the Capitol doors were breached — he ran to his post outside the Senate Chamber, then was credited with luring the crowd away from U.S. senators, some of whom still remain today. on the floor while their evacuation was underway.
Justice Department prosecutors argued that Jensen “was there … so he could catch Mike Pence.” They noted that Jensen was seen “outside the door where the vice president should have been,” adding, “that doesn’t happen by accident.”
Jensen gained unique fame for the images and the striking black QAnon shirt he wore that day. He did not testify in his own defense.
He has been remanded in custody and will remain in prison pending sentencing. Jensen had already violated restrictions on cell phone use by viewing a mobile video feed from MyPillow CEO and Trump ally Mike Lindell.
Jensen’s lawyer described him in closing arguments as a “terribly confused man on Jan. 6 who believed in QAnon and whose mindset was affected by the pandemic.”
He argued that Jensen shouldn’t be lumped together with the other more violent defendants in the Capitol that day because he wasn’t really hurting anyone: “This man never raised a hand. He never got physical. He never threatened anyone.”
The defense also argued that the reason Jensen was in the Capitol was that he wanted the officers there to arrest the vice president and that Jensen really believed it had to be done. Jensen, carried a knife in his pocket at the Capitol, but his attorney claimed he had it not because he intended to use it, but because he is a worker.
However, the government pointed out that Jensen had made multiple comments to officers he encountered suggesting that his intentions were more violent than suggested by the defense. He had told USCP Inspector Lloyd to “give up the building” and at one point asked another officer, “Can’t we just storm in?”
Prosecutors said it was no coincidence that Jensen was at the front of the crowd chasing Goodman. They said he armed the mob, that he went to great lengths to enter the Capitol Building, climb a wall and jump through a window from which he had seen others shatter.
Jensen will be sentenced on December 16 and remain in custody until then.
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