A Washington, DC jury convicted a high-profile US Capitol riot defendant on all seven federal charges on Friday, after four hours of deliberation.
Doug Jensen, aof Iowa, was accused of being among the first to breach the US Capitol and was at the forefront of the mob that chased US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman down the steps of the Capitol on 6 January 2021.
Goodman testified at trial that he felt boxed in and gobbled up by the mob led by Jensen. Prosecutors showed video from that day showing Goodman leading the crowd away from the Senate floor, where senators were sheltering at the time. He said he ran into Senator Mitt Romney in the hallway and urged him to go back upstairs, where he would be safer.
He also stated that he had suffered a blow to the head from an object thrown from within the crowd. He recalled being overcome by bear spray at one point and retreating to the Capitol Rotunda to wash his eyes. While in the Rotunda, Goodman vomited into a bucket before running off to confront rioters, according to his testimony.
Goodman told the court that he responded to an urgent radio call when the Capitol doors were broken down: he ran to his post outside the Senate chamber and was later credited with driving the mob away from U.S. senators, some of whom were who were still in office. the floor while the evacuation of him was underway.
Justice Department prosecutors argued that Jensen “was there … so he could get Mike Pence.” They noted that Jensen was seen “outside the door where the vice president was supposed to be,” adding that “that doesn’t happen by accident.”
Jensen gained unique notoriety due to the images and distinctive black QAnon t-shirt he wore that day. He did not testify in his own defense.
He has been in pretrial detention and will remain in jail awaiting sentencing. Jensen had already violated pretrial release restrictions on cell phone use by viewing cell phone video of MyPillow CEO and Trump ally Mike Lindell.
Jensen’s attorney described him in closing arguments as a “terribly confused man on January 6 who believed in QAnon and whose mindset was affected by the pandemic.”
He argued that Jensen shouldn’t be lumped in with the other more violent defendants on Capitol Hill that day because he didn’t actually hurt anyone: “This man never raised his hand. He never got physical. He never threatened anyone.”
The defense also argued that the reason Jensen was on Capitol Hill was that he wanted officers to arrest the vice president and that Jensen genuinely believed that had to happen. Jensen carried a knife in his pocket on Capitol Hill, but his attorney claimed that he did not have it because he intended to use it, but because he is a blue-collar worker.
However, the government noted that Jensen had made multiple comments to officers that he found that suggested his intentions were more violent than described by the defense. He had told USCP Inspector Lloyd to “hand over the building” and asked another officer at one point, “can’t we break in there?”
Prosecutors said Jensen wasn’t just at the helm of the mob hunting Goodman. They said he armed the mob, that he had gone to great lengths to enter the Capitol building, scale a wall and jump out a window that he had seen others break.
Jensen will face sentencing on December 16 and will remain in pretrial detention until then.