WASHINGTON — A jury convicted a staunch QAnon believer who stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 of all counts on Friday, deliberating for four before delivering their verdict.
Jurors heard two full days of testimony from witnesses about Doug Jensen, a Des Moines, Iowa, construction worker who traveled to D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, and eventually made his way to the front lines of the mob at the Capitol. Open source video showed Jensen was one of the first 10 rioters to enter the building through a broken window on the Senate Wing side.
Jurors deliberated throughout the afternoon Friday, and even asked U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly for an extra hour, before returning their verdict finding Jensen guilty of five felonies and two misdemeanor counts, as follows:
- Civil disorder
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Assaulting, resisting or impeding police
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon
- Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
- Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building
Like many Jan. 6 cases, the one prosecutors brought against Jensen featured a wealth of video evidence arrayed against him. Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, acknowledged that would be a challenge early on — telling jurors during opening remarks it would not be a "whodunnit" case and comparing his client during his closing arguments to "Where's Waldo," saying he was on video all over the Capitol.
But, Davis also worked throughout the trial to portray Jensen as a man who had fallen deeply down the “rabbit hole” of QAnon — a conspiracy theory holding that former President Donald Trump was engaged in a global battle against a Satanic cabal of child sex abusers. A key element of the QAnon conspiracy theory is the coming of "the storm," which is the day that Trump would supposedly begin the mass arrest of members of the cabal, the so-called "deep state" and prominent Democrats. That, Davis said, is what Jensen thought was happening on Jan. 6.
"He believed 100% in QAnon. He believed on Jan. 6 the storm was going to arrive and police were going to arrest all the corrupt politicians," Davis said. "And that included Mike Pence."
During closing arguments, Davis described Jensen as a “terribly confused man” who was showing passive resistance when he faced off with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman and then chased him up a flight of stairs. Goodman, who testified during the trial, recalled that interaction differently.
"He just kept coming closer, kept accosting me," Goodman said of Jensen. "I felt like they were going to rush me at any time."
Assistant U.S. attorney Emily Allen told jurors Jensen’s story wasn’t credible and that he was just as invested as getting to Congress and stopping the certification of electoral votes as Kevin Seefried, another rioter who jabbed at Goodman with a Confederate flag and who was convicted himself in June of five counts.
“Do you really believe all he wanted was to have someone else arrest Mike Pence?” Allen asked. “You know that’s not true.”
Though Jensen is far from the only Capitol riot defendant with ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory, he was the first to raise it as a possible defense at trial. His attorney, Davis, had previously pointed to Jensen’s “addiction” to QAnon and election fraud conspiracy theories last September, when Jensen was caught violating the terms of his pretrial release by watching MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s election fraud conspiracy conference. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who had granted Jensen bond only two months early, quickly revoked his release and sent him back to jail to await trial.
Kelly set sentencing in the case for Dec. 16 at 9 a.m.. Jensen faces a potentially lengthy prison sentence, as other rioters convicted of similar charges have been ordered to serve years behind bars. Last month, a judge sentenced former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson to more than seven years in prison on many of the same counts of which Jensen was convicted. Earlier this month, Thomas Webster, a former NYPD officer convicted of assaulting a DC Police officer on Jan. 6, was ordered to serve 10 years behind bars. Both men are appealing their convictions.
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