Anthime Gionet, a far-right internet troll known as Baked Alaska, livestreamed the Jan. 6, 2021, Capital riot. (Screenshot via court documents)
Washington D.C. — Baked Alaska, a far-right internet troll who livestreamed his attendance at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is going to jail for 60 days. The 35-year-old, real name Anthime Gionet, pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. And in federal court Tuesday, U.S. attorneys played clips from his livestream while his parents sat in the courtroom several rows behind him. At the time, the broadcast on D-Live netted him a total of $2,000 from viewers.
Gionet was seen trespassing into two senators’ offices and filmed himself using one of their desk phones. At one point, he suggests calling Donald Trump. “He’ll be happy, we’re fighting for him,” said Gionet. At another point, Gionet was seen swearing at Capitol police who were trying to quell the mob, calling them “traitors.” “We ain’t leaving this bitch,” he declared during his livestream.” Franks said that Gionet was asked to leave the Capitol but soon re-entered. Gionet has been a mainstay of far-right circles ever since Donald Trump was elected president. He trolled counterprotesters on his livestream at the “Battle of Berkeley” in early 2017. Later that year, he attended the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Since Jan. 6, Gionet has allied himself with white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ and his army of “groypers” and most recently embraced disgraced rapper Ye. At the start of Tuesday’s sentencing, Gionet, with a bleached mullet and a dark rumbled suit, was smiling and idly scrolling through his phone. But as U.S. attorneys made the government’s case for why Gionet should do jail-time —the government sought 75 days— the livestreamer became emotional and appeared to tear up. He wiped his eyes on his forearms, which were resting on the table.
Judge Trevor McFadden said he agreed with the government’s assessment of aggravating factors in the case, one of which was Gionet’s past criminality. Gionet was convicted of two state misdemeanor charges from crimes committed in Arizona in Dec. 2020: assaulting a bouncer with pepper spray and tearing down a Happy Hanukkah sign from a menorah in front of the Arizona State Capitol. “Jan. 6 was the culmination of a petty crime spree for you,” McFadden said. Additionally, the government had highlighted Gionet’s large follower count at the time of Jan. 6—about 16,000-strong—and said that urged people to join him at the Capitol. “You repeatedly engaged in criminality to earn followers and money online,” said McFadden. That is a disturbing vocation, sir,’ McFadden says that Gionet, being an “influencer” in particular, has a responsibility to “lead by example.” And his following also “highlights the importance of a sentence that promotes deterrence” to send a message to his supporters that “such criminality will not be tolerated.” Gionet’s attorney Zachary Thornley, however, tried to cast his client as a “guerilla journalist.” (Gionet briefly worked at Buzzfeed prior to his radicalization to far-right politics; in one sentencing memo, his lawyers tried to blame the “open bar” party culture at the news outlet for his downfall, including once missing his mother’s birthday due to a hangover.) “He goes to places where controversial things are happening and he records them,” said Thornley. McFadden said that Gionet’s conduct during his livestreams make it clear that he actively participates in the events he films. In addition to 60 days in prison, Gionet received two years probation and a fine of $2,000. After McFadden handed down his sentence, Gionet left the courtroom flanked by his parents and his lawyers. In his right hand, he clutched his trademark wraparound, mirrored sunglasses. Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.