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January 22, 2021

Pa. judge apologizes for photo of husband dressed as 'QAnon Shaman'

Allegheny County woman says the Inauguration Day gag was 'poor judgment'

Controversy Politics
Judge Kim Eaton Photo Source/WXPI-TV Pittsburgh

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kim Eaton, pictured above with her husband on Inauguration Day, said she showed 'poor judgment' in sharing the moment on Facebook. Eaton's husband was dressed in costume as Jacob Anthony Chansley, a.k.a. Jake Angeli, who is facing federal charges for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

A western Pennsylvania judge has apologized after she was criticized this week for posing in a photo with her husband dressed as the so-called "QAnon Shaman" who participated in the U.S. Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kim Eaton shared the photo on Facebook during Wednesday's Inauguration parade for President Joe Biden.

In the photograph, Eaton's husband is wearing an outfit similar to the one made famous by 33-year-old Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli. The Arizona man was arrested and later charged for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot.

Angeli is a follower of the QAnon conspiracy cult, whose supporters believe former President Donald Trump was fighting against a Satan-worshipping cabal of cannibal pedophiles, including "deep state" Democratic politicians. Many of those who associate with QAnon are grouped with wider circles of white supremacists on the radical far-right. 

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Eaton apologized and said she showed "poor judgement," explaining that the photo was only intended to reach a small group of friends. Her own outfit in the photo, including Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, were meant to represent Vice President Kamala Harris.

A self-described liberal Democrat, Eaton is an administrative judge who works in the family division of the Common Pleas Court. Her current 10-year term is set to end in 2030.

In the wake of Biden's inauguration, QAnon supporters have faced an unwelcome reckoning. As the predestined course of events they predicted failed to transpire, many have been left distraught and disoriented by the rabbit hole they entered.

"I’m not a white supremacist, and you can quote me on that," Eaton clarified in her remarks to the Post-Gazette. "Actually, [the costume] was making fun of white supremacists."