Politics

Famous Internet Bozo Who Stormed Capitol on Jan. 6 Derails Own Guilty Plea by Telling Judge He’s Innocent

A bearded man with dyed blonde hair and large sunglasses is cheered on by young men wearing blue AMERICA FIRST hats.
Far-right livestreamer Baked Alaska protesting something or other at Pfizer’s headquarters in New York City on Nov. 13. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Tim Gionet is an online personality known as “Baked Alaska.” (He is from Alaska and, at least at one point, attested to having enjoyed becoming intoxicated or “baked” using the drug marijuana.) As is documented in this New York Times piece, he came to prominence as an employee of the website BuzzFeed for making short videos in which he did things like pouring milk on his face.

Because of some combination of personal impulse and recognition of a market niche, Gionet became involved in far-right politics during the 2016 presidential campaign. He continued to do and say outrageous things for attention, but now his statements sometimes involved white supremacist slogans and sentiments like the so-called 14 words. He attended the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and, on Jan. 6, 2021, livestreamed himself entering the U.S. Capitol after others had busted through doors and windows (and a police line) to interrupt Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election.

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On the video, he can be seen entering offices and encouraging others not to leave the building. This is what professionals in the prosecution community refer to as a “layup,” and Gionet was charged with a misdemeanor. He was expected to plead guilty to that misdemeanor Wednesday at an online hearing with a D.C. judge, but then this happened:

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“Sullivan” is frequently beleaguered federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, who explained to Gionet that he could not accept a guilty plea from someone who was telling the court that he is innocent of the charges against him. After some back-and-forth, Sullivan gave Gionet 60 days to decide whether to accept the plea deal or go to trial next March.

Thus will he remain, as he put it in a Monday comment, “balls deep in legal shit.”

Gionet was convicted in October 2021 of “assault, trespass, and disorderly conduct” for spraying a bouncer in Scottsdale, Arizona, with “pepper gel” during another livestream; he has also been charged for allegedly tearing down part of a Hanukkah display outside Arizona’s Capitol in Phoenix in December of the same year.

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