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‘Forrest Gump’ plotline used to argue for release of “QAnon shaman”

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A plotline from Forrest Gump was used to argue for the release of the “QAnon Shaman” by his lawyer.

Jacob Chansley – aka Jake Angeli, dubbed the “QAnon Shaman” – is currently in custody in Arizona, after being arrested for his involvement in the storming of the US Capitol in Washington D.C. in January.

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Chansley is facing charges of interfering with police during a civil disorder, obstruction of Congress and several counts of various misdemeanours. The man, photos of whom wearing a horned fur hat were widely published after the riot, claims that police invited him into the Capitol building.

In court on Friday (March 5), Chansley’s lawyer Al Watkins used one of the plotlines from Forrest Gump to try and secure his release. He claimed his client had been invited to the Capitol by then-president Donald Trump, “like Forrest Gump”.

Jacob Chansley, QAnon shaman
Jacob Chansley – aka Jake Angeli, the “QAnon shaman” CREDIT: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

In the 1994 movie, Tom Hanks’ titular character was invited to the White House as part of the US Ping Pong team and is put up in the Watergate hotel by Richard Nixon. In the film, Gump complains to hotel staff about men in a room across from his waving flashlights around, unwittingly exposing the Watergate scandal.

Chansley’s attorney went on to say he wasn’t a “man of violence” and that he and others who stormed the Capitol “genuinely believed in the truth of what was being asserted by the highest hired hand in the land, the president”.

The prosecution countered that, given the broken windows and alarms going off, Chansley could not have thought he was being invited into the building. They also claimed he was asked to leave the premises several times and left a note on Vice President Mike Pence’s desk that read: “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming.”

A ruling has not yet been given on Chansley’s request for release.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth revealed he had written a sequel, but 9/11 prevented it from being made. The second film would have seen Gump have encounters with OJ Simpson and Princess Diana.

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