A QAnon supporter prosecutors say was caught on camera chasing a police officer inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 insurrection has been sent back to jail after violating the conditions of pretrial release to watch MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s recent “cyber symposium.”
Douglas Jensen, a 44-year-old from Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested just days after the riot when authorities said he was seen on video leading the MAGA mob that chased after Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman for two flights of stairs. While Jensen, who was wearing a QAnon shirt during the riot, was charged with several crimes, including assault, he was released in July after spending six months in jail.
At the time of his pre-trial release, Jensen’s lawyer insisted he had renounced his previous beliefs in the far-right conspiracy theory falsely suggesting Democrats and other enemies of Donald Trump were effectively satanists systematically sexually abusing children. He also agreed to follow all the pre-trial conditions—which included a ban of the internet of any internet-related devices.
But prosecutors say that just 30 days after his release, Jensen was “found alone, in his garage, using a WiFi-connected iPhone to stream news from Rumble,” a video platform popular on the right.
Jensen initially claimed that the phone was his daughter’s—then that his wife simply left the news on for him when she left for work in the morning. Finally, prosecutors said in an Aug. 19 motion to revoke, Jensen admitted to his pretrial services officer that he “spent two days watching Mike Lindell’s Cyber Symposium regarding the recount of the presidential election.”
During a Thursday hearing to determine whether Jensen should go back to jail, defense attorney Chris Davis admitted that his client had violated his release conditions, but that he should get a second chance because he eventually copped to it.
“Mr. Jensen owned up to what he did, he knows what he did was wrong,” Davis told Judge Timothy Kelly.
Prosecutors, however, said that Jensen “does not take orders from anyone”—and was bound to violate his conditions again if allowed to remain free pending trial. A pretrial service officer said during the hearing the infraction was found during the first court visit to Jensen’s house.
“Two weeks after swearing to this court, he would obey its order, he was back to [his] habits,” Assistant United States Attorney Hava Mirell said in a Thursday hearing while arguing to send Jensen back to jail. “His violations were swift and blatant.
“Mr. Jensen does not deserve a second chance. This is not equivalent to a drug relapse, there is no chemical dependency here,” Mirell added.
At the end of the hearing, however, Jensen’s defense noted that the government had extended a plea offer to Jensen and discussions were ongoing.
To further argue Jensen should remain in jail, Mirell also played a 31-second clip of footage that shows Jensen and several cops in a physical confrontation during the insurrection. The sealed video of the confrontation was recorded after Jensen’s encounter with Goodman, who heroically diverted the group of rioters away from the Senate chamber.
Mirell also noted that since Jensen already violated the strictest form of pretrial release possible, the next logical step for violating that agreement to ensure the safety of the public is detention.
“His violations were swift and blatant,” the prosecutor added.
Jensen's lawyer countered that while the internet ban placed on his client “sounds a bit Orwellian,” he agreed to the condition because of his client’s reliance on conspiracy theories. Davis insisted that if Jensen was given a second chance, he would make sure his client was “crystal clear” that it is not okay for his wife to turn on a phone for him.
“Orwellian aside, it was wrong, and he’s not denying that,” David said.
The defense attorney also compared Jensen’s fixation on conspiracy theories to a “compulsion”—but insisted that his client now knows that his affinity for that type of content needs to be controlled. In his bond motion, Davis also claimed that Jensen had come “full circle” with his QAnon beliefs, and that he felt “deceived” and “recogniz[ed] that he bought into a pack of lies.”
“This is an intelligent man... he is not a bumbling idiot, in any sense of the word,” Davis said on Thursday.
As previously reported by The Daily Beast, the three-day Lindell event was held by the MyPillow founder and Stop The Steal advocate and filled with bizarre moments—including Lindell yelling that there are “no breaks” and vowing to stay up on stage for “72 hours.”
Lindell, who has relentlessly pushed false claims that rigged voting machines were the reason for President Donald Trump’s loss, teased the Sioux Falls event as offering “world-changing” data that would—according to him—force the Supreme Court to reinstate the former MAGA president.
That, of course, never happened.
The judge ultimately sided with the prosecution, noting that it was a “relatively close call” on whether to release Jensen in the first place. He reminded Jensen that in July, he warned the rioter that one violation would land him back in jail.
“I think it’s notable that this is the very first time [Jensen] was checked in on during an unannounced way,” Judge Kelly said, adding that Jensen also admitted to watching other conspiratorial election content the week prior to being caught. “Frankly, it’s a logical inference... there are no conditions or combination of conditions that will ensure Mr. Jensen will not pose a danger to the safety of the community.”
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