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Far-right personality ‘Baked Alaska’ sentenced to 60 days for Jan. 6

Anthime ‘Tim’ Gionet livestreamed his two entries into the Capitol to more than 16,000 followers, prosecutors said

Anthime “Tim” Gionet, known online as “Baked Alaska,” leaves the federal courthouse after he was sentenced to 60 days in jail. He live-streamed himself moving through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
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The far-right internet provocateur “Baked Alaska,” known to his family and friends as Anthime “Tim” Gionet, who live-streamed his hour-long romp through the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to about 16,000 people, was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail.

It is not the first time Gionet, who pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of illegally parading through the Capitol, received jail time for live-streaming his involvement in a crime. In December 2020, he live-streamed himself spraying pepper gel at a bouncer ejecting him in Scottsdale, Ariz., netting a 30-day jail term. Soon after, Gionet streamed himself tearing down a menorah and Hanukkah sign outside the Arizona Capitol, for which he received a fine.

“January 6 was the culmination of a petty crime spree from you,” U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden told Gionet. Noting that Gionet live-streamed each crime, the judge commented, “That is a very disturbing vocation, sir.”

Gionet was once a journalist for BuzzFeed before turning to right-wing websites where he posted videos and developed a following. He was a scheduled speaker at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. And though he had been banned from major social media because of his racist posts, prosecutors said, he had an agreement to make $2,000 from a streaming service on Jan. 6, and it was followers watching him on the east side of the Capitol who urged him to head to the west side and join the melee already in progress.

After entering the building at 2:35 p.m., video shows, he spent 27 minutes live-streaming, chatting with followers, recording destruction by other rioters and cursing police. He also entered the offices of two U.S. senators, putting his feet up on a table and stating, “Occupy the Capitol, let’s go, we ain’t leaving ...” McFadden said he was troubled by the entry into the senators’ offices, calling it “a certain brazenness ... that merits consideration in your sentence.”

Upon leaving the building a first time, Gionet entered a second time and, he claimed in his sentencing memo, was allowed in by police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony L. Franks played surveillance video showing that was false, that Gionet was part of a crowd that overwhelmed two officers trying to protect a Senate wing door. While outside the Capitol, Gionet “actively recruited others, knowing they were going into the Capitol,” Franks said.

Gionet’s attorney Zachary Thornley told the judge that “Let’s go” was merely a speech mannerism of Gionet’s, and that he had no plans to enter the Capitol that day. He called Gionet a “guerrilla journalist, ” though court records show Gionet falsely told the FBI last year he had press accreditation.

“At the end of the day, it’s still a misdemeanor,” Thornley reminded the judge in asking for a more lenient sentence.

Gionet faced a maximum sentence of 180 days. Prosecutors asked for 75 days in jail and three years of probation. The probation and parole office recommended a 45-day sentence. The average jail sentence for Jan. 6 misdemeanants so far has been about 48 days, according to a Washington Post analysis of sentencing data.

When it came time for the defendant to address the judge, Gionet was one of the few Jan. 6 defendants to refuse to speak. McFadden has often credited defendants who express genuine regret over their actions on that day. “I don’t see a lot here in terms of remorse,” the judge said. “I can’t say I see a real recognition from you of the seriousness of what you were involved in and how your actions helped exacerbate the situation.”

McFadden said, “You live-streamed, hoping people would pay you. That puts you in a different category from the vast majority of people there. You broadcast to 16,000 followers. Such blatant criminality will not be tolerated.”

McFadden gave Gionet a 60-day sentence, two years of probation and a $2,000 fine. He allowed Gionet to surrender later, the standard practice in federal sentencings in the District.

Outside the courthouse, according to the Associated Press, Gionet told reporters: “I have grown immense amounts. 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.”