The right-wing livestreamer known as “Baked Alaska,” who broadcast himself from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 encouraging Donald Trump supporters to breach the building, will spend time in jail for his role in the riot.
Anthime Gionet, who has been known to push white supremacist talking points and pro-Nazi ideology to thousands of online followers, broadcast himself making his way through the Capitol as a pro-Trump mob, angry over Joe Biden‘s 2020 electoral win, swarmed the building. The riot interrupted Congress’ certification of the election and forced lawmakers and staffers to either flee the building or shelter in place.
Gionet had pleaded guilty in July — after a May attempt to plead went awry — to a single misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
Gionet acknowledged breaching the building while livestreaming his own actions to thousands of followers. He encouraged other rioters to join him: while standing at a window that had been smashed open, Gionet turned to people standing outside and said: “Come in.”
“Come in, let’s go, come on in, make yourselves at home,” he later said to other rioters as they entered the building.
“Occupy the Capitol, let’s go, we ain’t leaving this b*tch,” he could be heard saying. “Patriots are in control,” he he also said.
While inside the Capitol, Gionet entered the offices of two senators. In one office, he broadcast himself making a fake phone call to lawmakers.
“He picked up a conference room telephone and filmed himself while pretending to make a call to the ‘U.S. Senate,’ stating, among other things, ‘We need to get our boy, Donald J. Trump, into office,’ and ‘America First is inevitable, fuck globalists, let’s go,'” a plea agreement filing says.
In a second senator’s office, Gionet “sat on a couch and placed his feet on a table,” court documents said.
While being ushered out of the building, Gionet livestreamed a confrontation between himself and a Capitol Police officer.
“You’re a fucking oathbreaker, you piece of shit, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you piece of shit,” Gionet yelled at the officer after accusing him of shoving him. “You broke your oath to the Constitution, fuck you.”
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Gionet to 60 days in jail on Tuesday, tacking on two years of probation, a $2,000 fine, and $500 in restitution toward the estimated $2.7 million damage to the building.
Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 75 days behind bars, three years of probation, and 60 hours of community service. Gionet had sought a sentence of 12 months probation only.
When Kelly, a Trump appointee, asked Gionet if he wanted to speak on his own behalf during Tuesday’s hearing, Gionet declined.
In handing down his sentence, Kelly told Gionet that his conduct was more egregious than that of other people who pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum six month jail sentence.
“You continued to livestream after being told to leave by officers,” Kelly said. Of the defendant’s expletive-filled taunts to the Capitol Police officer directly, the judge said: “That’s pretty shocking behavior, sir. That’s not something at all that they should put up with.”
Kelly said that Gionet’s financial motivations contributed to the chaos.
“You livestreamed your conduct to thousands of people hoping they would pay you for your actions,” the judge said. “You did everything you could to publicize your misconduct.”
Despite defense attorney Zachary Thornley‘s characterization of Gionet as a “guerrilla journalist,” Kelly said that the defendant was “more than just a passive photojournalist.”
“You were actively participating,” Kelly said, adding that Gionet was “celebrating what was a national tragedy.”
Kelly also said that Gionet’s conduct on Jan. 6 was “the culmination of a petty crime spree” that contributed to his decision to send him to jail. In December 2020, Gionet was convicted of assault, disorderly conduct, and trespassing after using pepper spray on a restaurant worker — an incident that the defendant had livestreamed. That same month, Gionet also broadcast himself toppling a menorah and tearing down a Hanukkah sign on display at the Arizona state capitol.
“No more Happy Hanukkah,” Gionet said in the livestream at the time. “Only Merry Christmas.”
Kelly also seemed particularly troubled by what he perceived as a limited effort by Gionet to take responsibility.
“I don’t see a lot here in terms of remorse,” the judge said, adding that Gionet is “wise” to have stepped back from livestreaming.
Kelly said that he will give Gionet credit for the days he has already spent in custody in connection with his arrest. He will also allow him to self-report to custody.
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