Far-right streamer Anthime Gionet, known online as “Baked Alaska,” has been sentenced to 60 days in prison after pleading guilty in July to having unlawfully protested inside the Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Gionet livestreamed almost 30 minutes of his participating in the riot, a decision which not only provided law enforcement with significant evidence placing him at the scene, but aided in identifying other protesters.
In addition to his prison sentence, Gionet has also been ordered to pay $2,500 in fines and restitution.
During the Capitol riot, Gionet touted his location to the camera and made comments to viewers and the crowd, including, “Occupy the Capitol, let’s go. We ain’t leaving this bitch.” Gionet called a police officer a “fucking oathbreaker” and a “piece of shit.” He was arrested shortly after.
“You livestreamed your criminal conduct to thousands of followers hoping they would pay you for your actions,” District Judge Trevor McFadden told Gionet in his address to the court during sentencing. “You did everything you could to publicize your misconduct… You were there encouraging and participating fully in what was going on.”
McFadden described Jan. 6 as the “culmination of a petty crime spree” for Gionet, highlighting his criminal history and apparent lack of remorse for his actions. It’s “pretty shocking behavior.”
In May, Gionet came within a hair’s width of botching his best chance to avoid a jury trial — which given the extensive self-documentation of his actions would have likely resulted in a much harsher sentence — by bungling a hearing to enter a plea agreement with the prosecution. When asked by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan if he was acknowledging his guilt by entering the plea deal, Gionet responded that he “wanted to go to trial, but the prosecutors said if I didn’t go to trial, they’d put a felony on me, so I think this is probably the better route … I believe I am innocent.”
Sullivan initially instructed Gionet to go ahead and “pick a trial date,” explaining that he could not accept the plea agreement if the defendant maintained their innocence and that he could not “force anyone to plead guilty if they’re not guilty.” After some back and forth between Gionet’s lawyers and Judge Sullivan, the parties agreed to extend the plea offer. Gionet’s case was later reassigned to McFadden, a decision which Gionet publicly celebrated, calling McFadden a “very awesome judge who is a pro-Trump judge and one of the judges that let one of the guys off innocent in his trial.”
Gionet had long attempted to achieve infamy among the far right, transforming a failed attempt at achieving rap stardom into the trollish personality “Baked Alaska.” Throughout the 2016 electoral cycle Gionet was a staunch supporter of then-candidate Donald Trump, regularly appearing at rallies and events promoting his campaign. The romance between the pro-Trump right and Gionet was short-lived, however, as before Trump’s inauguration, “Alaska” tweeted that the media is “run in majority by Jewish people.” The statements were condemned by factions of the right, and Gionet was pushed further to the fringes.
The charges stemming from his participation in the Capitol riot are only the latest entry in a history of legal troubles for the streamer. On Jan. 13, 2021, Gionet was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he assaulted a bouncer at an Arizona bar. Gionet skipped out on a pretrial hearing related to the assault in order to travel to D.C. and participate in the riot, leading the judge in the case to revoke his pretrial release and issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
In Nov. 2021, with a conviction already under his belt and a pending trial, Gionet was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage after he allegedly defaced a Hanukkah display while livestreaming. In the stream, Gionet can be heard saying “no more ‘Happy Hanukkah … only ‘Merry Christmas.'”
Gionet was not taken into custody following the hearing on Tuesday, and will be allowed to remain free until required to report to prison. “I have grown immense amounts,” Gionet told reporters as he left the courthouse. “But I still hold firm that I was there because I believe the election was fraudulent, and I believe people should have a right to speak freely as long as they are being peaceful.”