A 41-year-old Iowa man has been found guilty by a Washington jury late on Sept. 23 on all seven charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the Capitol building.
The seven counts that Douglas Jensen of Des Moines, Iowa, was found guilty of include five felonies. They are: obstruction of an official proceeding; assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer; obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon. The dangerous weapon was a knife in Jensen’s pocket.
The other two counts the jury determined Jensen was guilty of are misdemeanor offenses: disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
He is due to be sentenced on Dec. 16.
Jensen was first arrested in Des Moines on Jan. 8, 2021, and had pleaded not guilty to all counts related to the Jan. 6 breach.
Disobeyed Orders From Police Officer
Prosecutors said Jensen was among the first 10 people who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after he had scaled the outer walls of the Capitol and climbed through a broken window to enter the building.
At the time, Jensen was at the front of a crowd that was advancing further into a building in the Capitol complex, and repeatedly refused to comply with a lone Capitol Police officer on the day, who had ordered Jensen to stop, put his hands up, and back up, prosecutors said.
The officer retreated and eventually reached a staircase where he turned and ran up the flight of stairs in an attempt to get to back up, while Jensen advanced along with the crowd. The crowd stopped advancing after reaching an area where several more Capitol Police officers were present.
Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, said during the jury trial that began Sept. 20 that no evidence, including video footage of Jensen on the day, shows the Jan. 6 defendant engaging in any violence or property damage.
“You will not see this man lay a hand on anyone,” Davis said of Jensen.
A federal judge in July 2021 had ordered that Jensen be freed from jail pending trial, as he was not facing charges related to violence. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump nominee, said at the time that while Jensen “clearly disobeyed” the Capitol police officer, he was not accused of toppling any barricades, damaging any property, or fighting with anybody at the Capitol.
But at the start of September 2021, Jensen was ordered back to jail after he was caught using the internet, which violated one of the conditions of his release from jail.
On the day of the Capitol breach, Jensen had donned a T-shirt that featured a large “Q.” Prosecutors said in a court document (pdf) that 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.’”
The Q movement, commonly referred to as QAnon, started on 4chan and 8chan message boards. Posts attributed to Q often suggested government efforts to suppress individual freedoms and advance globalist agendas.
The Q posts attracted attention from a growing number of people, some of whom began to claim and believe that certain members of the world’s social, economic, and political elites have engaged in egregious crimes, including child sex trafficking, abuse, and cannibalism.
Another notion that people who attribute their beliefs to Q claimed is that former President Donald Trump was secretly fighting these elites during his time in the White House, and that a so-called “Storm” that involved mass arrests was coming.
In June 2021, in arguing for Jensen to be released on bond pending trial, Davis said in a court filing that his client “became a victim of numerous conspiracy theories that were being fed to him over the internet by a number of very clever people.”
Jensen had traveled to the Capitol to observe “what he thought was going to be ‘The Storm,’” which Davis described as “the moment all those with ideologies at odds with what he was hearing and reading on the internet were going to be arrested.” Davis emphasized that Jensen went “to observe.”
“[Jensen] was at the front of the crowd [on Jan. 6], but in no way leading anyone. He was in front of everyone for the now disclosed silly reason to get Q recognized for ‘The Storm’ that was about to take place,” Davis wrote in the court filing in June 2021.
“Six months later, languishing in a DC Jail cell, locked down most of the time, he feels deceived, recognizing that he bought into a pack of lies,” Davis wrote.
On Jan. 6, 2021, lawmakers gathered for a joint session of Congress to count and certify the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election. It was temporarily interrupted when a sizable group of protesters entered the building and its surrounds. Outside were thousands of other mostly peaceful protesters who had gathered in Washington on the day to express concerns about election integrity.
A total of five deaths were recorded in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021 incident. Of the deaths, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was determined to have died from homicide on Jan. 6, having been shot and killed by Lt. Michael L. Byrd, a Capitol Police officer.
Another death involved a woman in her 30s, Rosanne Boyland. The D.C. medical examiner ruled her death as an accident from a drug overdose. But video unsealed in December 2021 showed that Boyland was crushed and trampled when the crowd of protesters was pushed out of a tunnel in the Capitol building. She was then repeatedly struck by a police officer as she lay unconscious.
Another three people died of what were ultimately determined to be natural causes. One of them was Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who died on Jan. 7; he was initially believed to have died due to injuries caused by protesters, but was ultimately determined to have died due to a stroke. The other two people were men in their 50s who died on Jan. 6 due to hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Tom Ozimek, Zachary Stieber, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.