WASHINGTON, DC — The Des Moines man who led a surge of rioters inside the US Capitol during the deadly attack on January 6th could be released from jail in Washington, DC and return to Iowa later this month.
On Tuesday morning Doug Jensen was arraigned via teleconference in the DC-area. Jensen entered not guilty pleas to the full list of charges against him. Jensen has been in custody in Washington, D.C. since shortly after the riot. He was arrested in Des Moines after surrendering to authorities and extradited to the DC-area. He is facing seven charges, some of which were elevated after authorities learned Jensen was carrying a pocket knife during the Capitol riot.
Jensen could be released from jail later this month. A judge agreed on Tuesday to consider pre-trial release for Jensen at a hearing on June 24th. Jensen is requesting release so he can return to Iowa “to get his affairs in order” – including arranging health insurance coverage for his family. Jensen’s wife has agreed to serve as his custodian if he is released. Jensen has also agreed to wear a tracking device and to not use any internet connected devices, among other release conditions. At Tuesday’s hearing, Jensen’s attorney said discussion of a possible plea agreement with federal prosecutors could follow if Jensen is granted release.
Photos and videos of Jensen inside the US Capitol are among the most-shared by the media following the attack. Jensen can be seen leading a charge of rioters up the stairs of the Capitol, repeatedly disobeying an officer’s directions. Jensen admits that he wanted to be at the front of the crowd so his ‘Qanon’ t-shirt could be seen and ‘Q’ – the non-existent leader of a fictitious group born from an online conspiracy theory alleging ‘lizard people’ run an international pedophilia ring – would get credit for the attack that ultimately killed one police officer.
In his request for a bond hearing filed earlier this week, Jensen now admits that the Qanon conspiracy is a complete falsehood. Jensen claimed that he was “victim of numerous conspiracy theories being fed to him over the internet by a number of clever people, who were uniquely equipped with slight, if any, moral or social consciousness.” Jensen’s attorneys argue that he was also victimized by former President Donald Trump, arguing that Jensen “fell victim to this barrage of internet sourced info and came to the Capitol, at the direction of the President of the United States, to demonstrate that he was a “true patriot.” However, his views have changed since his arrest. His attorneys say Jensen now “feels deceived, recognizing that he bought into a pack of lies.”