Mike Lindell. founder and CEO of MyPillow, listens as former President Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally on Aug. 21, 2021, in Cullman, Alabama. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
By Jack Davis September 5, 2021 at 6:57pm
A federal judge last week handed down what has been called an “Orwellian” ruling against an Iowa man who participated in the Capitol incursion.
Doug Jensen, 42, of Des Moines, was ordered to jail on Thursday because he watched snippets of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s cyber symposium on the 2020 election, according to The Associated Press.
Jensen had previously spent six months in prison for his role as one of the leaders in the rioting at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly released Jensen from jail in July but banned him from using the internet or a cellphone.
Last month, a federal officer making the first unannounced home visit since Jensen’s release found that he was using an iPhone to watch the news on a right-wing streaming service.
Things got even worse when Jensen admitted he had watched part of Lindell’s cyber symposium, in which the conservative entrepreneur discussed theories that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud and other malfeasance.
Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, said Jensen deserved another chance to avoid jail, noting that he had compiled with other conditions of his release.
“At first glance, it sounds a bit Orwellian. A man sitting in his garage streaming the news over the internet … now the government wants to jail him,” Davis said, according to CNN.
But that was exactly what Kelly did.
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“It’s now clear that [Jensen] has not experienced a transformation and that he continues to seek out those conspiracy theories that led to his dangerous conduct on Jan. 6,” Kelly said. “I don’t see any reason to believe that he has had the wakeup call that he needs.”
Kelly rejected the idea that Jensen was just idly listening to the news.
“I think it’s probably a logical inference … that there are no conditions that will assure Mr. Jensen will not pose a danger to the safety of the community,” he said.
Davis said Jensen acknowledges he broke the rules on Jan. 6.
“He was wrong, and he’s not denying that,” Davis said.
David likened Jensen’s interest in the famous QAnon conspiracy theory to “an addiction.”
“Why else would anyone incarcerated in D.C. jail for six months and just released do this?” he said, according to The Washington Post. “I don’t have a good answer for this. I don’t think he does either.”
Jensen is “in therapy, but what that is going to do, I don’t know,” Davis said. “I almost liken it to a compulsion. It just doesn’t add up. This is an intelligent man. … He is not a bumbling idiot, in any sense of the word. He understands.”
“There are no additional conditions this court could impose to ensure that Mr. Jensen does not return to the habits that led him to the Capitol,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Hava Mirell said in court.