A right-wing video blogger who once filmed a music video dedicated to law enforcement was arrested on Saturday by the FBI after he livestreamed himself lounging in the Capitol amid the Jan. 6 insurrection.
In a criminal complaint released on Saturday, the Department of Justice said that it had arrested Anthime Joseph Gionet, the far-right activist better known as “Baked Alaska,” on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
On Saturday, officials in Tennessee also arrested Lisa Eisenhart, who went viral after it was revealed that she and her son, Eric Munchel, brought zip ties to the riot earlier this month. Video footage captured the mom-and-son duo holding the flex cuffs as they tried to chase down two cops inside the Capitol, a criminal complaint says.
Gionet, who tested positive for COVID-19 just days before the riot and is currently facing unrelated charges for allegedly pepper spraying a bouncer last year, traveled to D.C. this month for the “Stop The Steal” events. As rioters stormed Congress, Gionet, a former BuzzFeed employee turned far-right pro-Trump activist, livestreamed himself at the event on DLive, a popular video platform which eventually removed the stream.
But, like many rioters last week, his celebratory posts from the Capitol may come back to haunt him. Much of the evidence against Gionet presented in Saturday’s arrest affidavit is directly attributed to his own 27-minute livestream.
“The defendant can be heard remarking ‘1776 baby,’ ‘I won’t leave guys, don’t worry,’” the affidavit says. “At the 2:52 minute mark in the YouTube video the defendant, who is livestreaming the event from his device, turns the phone around to show his face and is clearly identifiable.”
At one point, Gionet filmed himself entering an office, picking up a telephone and acting out a “purported phone call with the United States Senate personnel.”
Later in the video, he entered another office, sat on a couch and placed his feet on a table. “The defendant encourages others not to break anything,” the affidavit adds.
VICE reported earlier this week that the FBI was using Gionet’s livestream of the riot to find and track down other participants. The agency put out several notices last week seeking information about individuals in the pro-Trump mob which included images pulled directly from the Baked Alaska video.
On Friday, Daniel Goodwyn, a “self-proclaimed” Proud Boy, was arrested by federal authorities who said in court filings that he was called out by name on Gionet’s livestream.
Federal authorities say they’ve charged at least 100 people in the wake of the riots, including a Texas real estate agent who took a private jet to the D.C., a former Latin Kings gangster, a peyote-loving “QAnon Shaman,” and a woman who was outed by a high school pal after allegedly pinching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nameplate.
Lisa Eisenhart was charged Saturday with being in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry or disorderly conduct in the Capitol, and a conspiracy offense.
When she was interviewed by a newspaper during the riot, she said: “I’d rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.”
But, this week, she insisted she and her son didn’t have violent intentions when they stormed the Capitol, despite viral images of them carrying zip ties. Saturday’s affidavit said law enforcement officials found several pairs of flex cuffs at Munchel’s home, though Eisenhart previously denied that they brought any ties with them to the riot.
“We saw the zip cuffs on top of an already opened cabinet in the hallway inside [the] Capitol building,” Eisenhart told the Tennessean. “We picked them up to prevent them falling into hands of bad actors.”
Prosecutors say Eisenhart and her son stayed at the Grand Hyatt in D.C. and got coffee together en route to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Video footage from inside the Capitol shows Eisenhart and her son holding zip ties as they chased two Capitol Police officers who were trying to escape from the mob, a criminal complaint says. The pair were also captured on video among a small group who breached the Senate chambers.
The FBI also announced charges on Saturday against another man who allegedly stormed the Capitol.
Law enforcement said Jack Jesse Griffith, also known as Juan Bibiano, participated in the event, citing his own posts on Facebook and Instagram, where he allegedly wrote “I even helped stormed [sic] the capitol today, but it only made things worse.”