File Photo: AFP
File Photo: AFP

The extraordinary situation that engulfed Washingtononly recently, after thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters, egged on by his speech, rioted in the US Capitol has taken the world by storm.

Amidst a global shock and dismay at the ungainly scenes, politicos all over the world have condemned the incidents of unlawful rioting, vandalism, and arson committed on the government building.

Meanwhile, it has come to light that the Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 had planned to "capture and assassinate elected officials", raising serious alarms over the state of law and order in the country that is supposed to be the self-proclaimed pinnacle of democracy.

The recent information has been sourced from a court filing submitted by the US Justice Department lawyers late on Thursday night. The filing sought the detention of Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as "QAnon Shaman", the man who had his face painted blue and red and donned a fur hat with horns while storming the US Capitol building.

"Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government," a report quoted the prosecutors as saying.

Images of Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as "QAnon Shaman", went viral on the internet as the violent riots took place which were staged by supporters of Trump following a speech he made earlier that day outside the Capitol calling for "patriots" to take a stand against the 2020 election results.

Chansley surrendered to authorities on January 9. He faces numerous charges, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, The Hill news website reported.

Making a plea for a pardon, Chansley's lawyer Albert Watkins told a local news outlet on Thursday that "words and invitation of a President are supposed to mean something".

Adding that Chansley was not involved in the January 6 violence, Watkins said: "Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honourable for the President to pardon Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the President's invitation with honourable intentions."

Shortly after the riots, Chansley told NBC News that there was nothing wrong in his actions, adding "the fact that we had a bunch of our traitors in office hunker down, put on their gas masks and retreat into their underground bunker, I consider that a win".

His reference was to the lawmakers inside the building who had to take shelter.

Dozens of people have been arrested nationwide over participation in the riots. Politicians and business leaders are loudly condemning the violence.

Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts.

(With inputs from agencies)

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