Internet Troll ‘Baked Alaska’ Pleads Guilty in Capitol Riots

A far-right internet personality pleaded guilty Friday to joining the mob storming the U.S. Capitol, where he streamed live video accusing him and other rioters, according to a court file.

A far-right internet personality pleaded guilty Friday to joining the mob storming the U.S. Capitol, where he streamed live video accusing him and other rioters, according to a court file.

Anthime Gionet, known as “Baked Alaska” to his social media followers, faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony of parading, demonstrating or picketing inside a Capitol building.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan will sentence Gionet on January 12, 2023.

The judge had scheduled a trial against Gionet in March 2023, after he failed to plead guilty at a previous hearing. Sullivan refused to accept an admission of guilt from Anthime Gionet in May after he confessed his innocence at the start of what was slated to be a hearing on a plea deal.

At the beginning of Friday’s virtual hearing, attorney Zachary Thornley told the judge that a protester was outside Gionet’s Florida home and was recording proceedings over the phone, a violation of court rules.

“Protest against what?” the judge asked.

“I think of him as a person,” Thornley replied.

The judge ordered court staff to shut down the telephone line so that the public could not hear Gionet plead.

Two of Gionet’s lawyers did not immediately respond to calls for comment after the hearing.

After entering the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Gionet streamed live video showing himself inside the building and repeatedly encouraging other rioters to stay there.

‘Come on in. Let’s go. Come on in. Make yourself at home,” Gionet told other rioters, according to a court file attached to his IOU.

Gionet joined others as he chanted, “Patriots are in control!” and “Whose house? Our home!” Before leaving, he profanely called a police officer an “oath-breaker,” the FBI said.

Federal authorities have used Gionet’s video to prosecute other rioters, including three men from New York City. Antonio Ferrigno, Francis Connor and Anton Lunyk pleaded guilty to riot-related charges in April. Gionet’s livestream showed them in Senator Jeff Merkley’s office, according to court records accompanying their plea deals.

Gionet worked at BuzzFeed before using social media to build a following online in far-right political circles. Attorney Zachary Thornley said Gionet “has been in the press for a long time”.

“His actions the day many people entered the Capitol were no less than he has always been. He filmed it. That’s what he does,” Thornley wrote in a lawsuit last year.

Prosecutors disputed Gionet’s claim that he is a member of the news media.

Gionet became known for posting videos of him trying to prank or troll his goals. He also has a history of promoting far-right extremism. He was scheduled to speak at the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 before it erupted into violence on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mainstream internet platforms, including Twitter, suspended Gionet’s accounts before January 6. At the Capitol, he was livestreaming video using a fringe service called DLive.

Other Capitol defendants have claimed they acted like journalists, not insurgents.

Infowars host Jonathan Owen Shroyer has asked a judge to dismiss his riot charges. Shroyer’s attorney says the Justice Department is prosecuting him for his constitutionally protected “rights to protest, speak up and report the news.” Prosecutors say the First Amendment does not protect Shroyer’s conduct at the Capitol.

Gionet, who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, was arrested in Houston less than two weeks after the riots. He moved from Arizona to Florida after his arrest.

In January, Gionet was sentenced to 30 days in prison on felony convictions following a December 2020 meeting in which authorities say he fired pepper spray at an employee at a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Gionet’s plea deal includes a provision that allows investigators to monitor all of his social media accounts for posts around the time of the Capitol uprising.

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