Far-right media personality "Baked Alaska" sentenced to 60 days in prison for live-streaming Capitol riot
Washington – A far-right media personality who admitted to live-streaming to thousands of viewers his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in prison.
Anthime Gionet, known online as "Baked Alaska," pleaded guilty in July to one misdemeanor count of illegal picketing in the Capitol building.
Prosecutors – who requested a sentence of 75 days in prison – alleged in court on Tuesday the defendant urged others to breach the Capitol before he made his way into the building as it was under siege by pro-Trump rioters. Ultimately, prosecutors said he made his way into two Senate offices, including one belonging to Sen. Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon. In that room, according to the government, Gionet picked up the phone and pretended to call the United States Senate, making unfounded claims of a fraudulent 2020 presidential election.
"We need to get our boy, Donald J. Trump, into office," Gionet is accused of yelling, as depicted in his live stream, "America First is inevitable, let's go, f*** globalists, let's go."
In an excerpt from his online video that was played in court during sentencing, the man known as Baked Alaska advocated for further action. "Occupy the Capitol," he said, "Let's go. We ain't leaving this b****."
Another portion of the video evidence presented on Tuesday showed Gionet yelling vulgarities at police as they pushed him and other rioters out of the building. It was after this encounter that prosecutors said the defendant illegally entered the Capitol a second time.
Judge Trevor McFadden, who imposed Gionet's sentence, said he took this "shocking conduct," as well as the defendant's past history in petty crime into account. McFadden also imposed a $2,000 fine and 2 years of probation.
The judge said Gionet's amplification of the "shameful" and embarrassing events of Jan. 6 warranted the prison time he imposed.
His past brushes with the law included tearing down a menorah outside an Arizona county office building and assault, prosecutors said. Such actions, McFadden said, demonstrated a "very troubling vocation" of profiting off of his crimes.
Gionet's defense attorney emphasized his client's nonviolent nature during the riot, highlighting a portion of video in which the defendant urged other members of the mob not to destroy property.
Gionet, the attorney said, was a "guerilla journalist" inside the Capitol, and lumping him in with other violent protesters that day as he said the government was doing was "disingenuous."
Still, McFadden told Gionet on Tuesday that while he has not seen much remorse from the defendant, McFaddennoted that he was right to have stopped his live-streaming operation.
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