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‘Baked Alaska’ pleads guilty to US Capitol riot charge

By Holmes Lybrand and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

A far-right internet personality who goes by the name “Baked Alaska” has agreed to plead guilty to unlawfully protesting at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 — after abandoning a plea agreement in May during a hearing in which he proclaimed he was “innocent.”

Anthime Gionet livestreamed himself breaching the Capitol in a nearly 30-minute video that showed him encouraging others in the mob to enter the building and saying, “We ain’t leaving this b*tch,” according to his latest plea agreement filed Friday.

Prosecutors have said in court filings that his livestream helped identify other rioters and led to multiple arrests in the massive investigation.

During a hearing in May on his first plea — which took more than a year for lawyers to reach — Gionet told US District Judge Emmet Sullivan, “I believe I’m innocent, your honor” when asked why he was pleading guilty. Gionet also has argued that he was acting as an independent journalist on January 6.

“Then fine, let’s pick a trial date,” Sullivan said at the time. “I’m never going to force someone to plead guilty who doesn’t think they’re guilty. Never.”

Prosecutors said then that they would give Gionet two additional months to consider the plea agreement. He appears to have accepted the same agreement in court last week.

Following his plea Friday, Gionet posted on the messaging app Telegram that the vast majority of federal prosecutions end in a plea deal, writing, “It’s literally the standard thing that happens.”

Gionet also denied that he was a “fed” informing for the government and reposted a number of people expressing their support. That included Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander, who wrote on Telegram that Gionet was “forced into a plea deal (smart on his part) by this abusive government.”

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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