“Mr. Chansley, along with many others who were similarly situated, are now compelled to reconcile a betrayal by a man whose back they felt they had for years,” Watkins’ statement reads. “In turn, they are compelled to be introspective and evaluate how they got where they are, the role of their former leader in that tragic course, and the vulnerabilities they share.”
On his final day in office, Trump pardoned 73 people and commuted the prison sentences of 70 other convicted felons.
The hundreds suspected in the Capitol riot that left five dead, however, were not among them.
Chansley had previously expressed hope for a pardon during Trump’s final days as president.
“He loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president,” Watkins said in an appearance on CNN last week. “My client wasn’t violent. He didn’t cross over any police lines. He didn’t assault anyone.”
Numerous photographs from the riot scene show Chansley bare-chested and decked out in face pant and pelts while chanting and wielding a spear with an American flag attached.
One image shows him standing at the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had stood only minutes earlier as confirmation of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory got underway.
There, on a stack of papers left behind by lawmakers as they scrambled to flee the mob, Chansley wrote a note saying “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming,” prosecutors alleged.
Video has also emerged of Chansley writing the message as the rioters overran the Capitol chanting “kill Mike Pence!”
Chansley, however, told the FBI the note was not meant as a threat and went on to call Pence a “child-trafficking traitor.”
According to the Pew Research Center, Trump granted 237 acts of clemency during his four years in office, including 143 pardons and 94 commutations. Only two other presidents since 1900 — George W. and George H.W. Bush — granted fewer acts of clemency than Trump.