Baked Alaska J6 plea deal thrown out by Judge Emmet Sullivan
WASHINGTON — A pro-Trump internet personality who livestreamed himself inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was set to plead guilty to a federal charge Wednesday as part of a plea deal reached with federal prosecutors, but the plea deal went up in smoke after he declared himself innocent.
Anthime Joseph Gionet, also known as “Baked Alaska,” was set to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count in which he would admit he “willfully and knowingly paraded, demonstrated, and picketed” inside the Capitol.
But the deal went out the window at a hearing Wednesday after Judge Emmet G. Sullivan asked Gionet whether he was pleading guilty because he was, in fact, guilty. — “I wanted to go to trial, but the prosecutors if I went to trial, they would put a felony on me, so I think this is probably the better route,” Gionet said. “I believe I’m innocent … but they’re saying if I go to trial they’re going to hit me with a felony.”
So Sullivan said he’d set a trial date for March 2023.
“If Mr. Gionet wants to go to trial, he’ll get a fair trial, like anyone and everyone else who has appeared before me, regardless of the charges. I’m not trying to trick you. … Don’t plead guilty to please me.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Ann Aloi said they would hold the plea deal open for 60 days.
In a separate case, Gionet was sentenced in January to 30 days in jail in connection with the assault of a Scottsdale bartender. He was also charged last year for tearing down a Jewish group’s Hanukkah display.