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Federal Judge Orders Jensen To Remain In Custody Due To 'Substantial Danger' He Poses To Public

Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol.

Doug Jensen of Des Moines has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges he faces for his alleged role in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Doug Jensen will remain in custody until his trial because he presents a “serious risk” to the community.

While others connected to the deadly riot at the Capitol have been granted pretrial release, Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided Tuesday that releasing Jensen would pose a “substantial danger” to the public.

In a brief hearing, Kelly sought to drive home the gravity of Jensen’s charges and the significance of the insurrectionist attack he allegedly participated in.

“The nature and circumstances of the offense charged, Mr. Jensen’s alleged role in the violent assault on the United States Capitol that briefly interrupted the peaceful transfer of power in our country, are gravely serious,” Kelly said.

The seven counts Jensen faces include dangerous weapons charges for allegedly carrying a knife during the attack. Grand juries have also indicted him on charges of obstructing an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement officers.

Photos and videos have been widely circulated of Jensen wearing a QAnon T-shirt and leading an angry mob in confronting and chasing U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up a flight of stairs near the Senate chamber during the siege.

In his detention order, Kelly wrote that the strength of the evidence against Jensen is “overwhelming."

According to investigators, Jensen was motivated to travel to D.C. and storm the Capitol by his belief in the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. According to court filings, Jensen specifically intended to be among the first to breach the Capitol because he wanted to be filmed wearing the T-shirt emblazoned with a large Q so that “Q” could “get the credit."

Investigators also say that Jensen told them he was “all about a revolution” against the U.S. government.

“Indeed, Mr. Jensen allegedly told law enforcement that he believed in preventing the election of now-President Biden from being certified by Congress, and that he was present in the Capitol to participate in an event he thought would result in the arrest of Members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence,” Kelly wrote.

The judge argued there is no reason to believe that Jensen’s penchant for revolution has dissipated.

“Although President Biden’s victory has now been certified by Congress and he has been sworn into office, at this point the Court has no basis to conclude that Mr. Jensen’s interest in “revolution” against the United States government and his willingness to use force to accomplish that goal have come to an end,” he wrote.

Jensen’s next court appearance is slated for March 25.

Jensen is one of four Iowans to be charged in connection with the attack. Leo Kelly of Cedar Rapids also faces federal charges after admitting in multiple media interviews that he entered the Capitol and reached the Senate floor.

Late last week, prosecutors filed several charges against mother and son Deborah Sandoval and Salvador Sandoval Jr. of central Iowa for their alleged role in the riot.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter