Far-right personality ‘Baked Alaska’ arrested in riot probe

US Politics

Shattered glass from the previous week’s attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob is seen in doors leading to the Capitol Rotunda in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Far-right media personality Tim Gionet, who calls himself “Baked Alaska,” has been arrested by the FBI for his involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

Gionet was arrested by federal agents in Houston on Saturday, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter before the public release of a criminal complaint and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was meeting to vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win. Five people died in the mayhem.

Gionet faces charges of violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Gionet or say where he is being held. The jail in Harris County, which includes Houston, didn’t immediately reply to phone messages seeking further information.

FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller said in an affidavit filed in the case that Gionet streamed live for about 27 minutes from inside the Capitol and could be heard encouraging other protesters not to leave, cursing and saying “I’m staying,” “1776 baby,” and “I won’t leave guys, don’t worry.”

She wrote that Gionet entered various offices and when told by law enforcement officers to move, identified himself as a member of the media. Miller wrote that Gionet then asked officers where to go before cursing a law officer while alleging the officer shoved him, then leaving the building.

Gionet also posted video that showed Trump supporters in “Make America Great Again” and “God Bless Trump” hats milling around inside the Capitol and taking selfies with officers who calmly asked them to leave the premises. The Trump supporters talked among themselves, laughed, and told the officers and each other, “This is only the beginning.”

Law enforcement officials across the country have been working to locate and arrest suspects who committed federal crimes. So far, they have brought nearly 100 cases in federal court and the District of Columbia Superior Court.

In a 2017 interview with “Business Insider,” Gionet said he was given the nickname “Baked Alaska” because he is from Alaska and that he smoked marijuana at the time.

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Associated Press writer Ken Miller in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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