Crime

Scottsdale Prosecutors Seek to Revoke Baked Alaska's Release Due to Capitol Livestream

Anthime Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, livestreamed himself inside the U.S. Capitol during the riot.
Anthime Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, livestreamed himself inside the U.S. Capitol during the riot. Screenshot
Scottsdale prosecutors are seeking to revoke the pre-trial release of an alt-right livestreamer after he posted a video of himself at last week's U.S. Capitol riot.

Anthime Joseph Gionet, a former BuzzFeed employee also known as Baked Alaska, is known for his livestreamed videos in which he has marched with white supremacists at Charlottesville and hung out with neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled him a white nationalist.

Most recently, Gionet broadcast video of himself in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office during the deadly insurrection that sought to overturn the results of the presidential election by storming the U.S. Capitol. The widely reported video shows Gionet mingling with the rioters and posing with a phone in Pelosi's office before eventually being ejected by riot police.
One problem for Gionet: he is currently facing charges that he maced a bouncer who kicked him out of Giligin's Bar And Shrimp Hut in Scottsdale last month. The incident, also caught on a livestream by one of his associates, led to him spending the night in jail and catching misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespassing.

Gionet was released without bail, but Scottsdale prosecutors said in a filing Friday that a condition of release was that he stay in the state of Arizona and continue to follow the law. They're asking a judge to revoke his release for violating those clauses.

"The city prosecutor’s office became aware of his presence at the Capitol, reviewed his release conditions, and determined that he had violated them," said Kelly Corsette, a city spokesperson.

While many other publicly identified participants in the riot have been charged with trespassing or violent acts, Gionet does not appear to have been charged in connection to the incident as of Tuesday, according to federal court records. A spokesperson for the Phoenix FBI field office referred questions to the national office in D.C., which did not respond.
In an odd twist, Gionet may also face charges in connection to vandalism at the Arizona Capitol.

A video of the incident, shared by a Reddit user the weekend before Christmas and allegedly taken from one of Gionet's livestreams, shows a livestreamer tearing down a "Happy Chanukah" sign attached to a menorah erected in front of the Arizona Capitol.

"No more 'Happy Hanukah,' only 'Merry Christmas,'" says the man, who sounds like Gionet.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves said Tuesday that the department plans to send a criminal damage charge against Gionet to Maricopa County prosecutors to review in connection with the vandalism.

It wouldn't be the first time Gionet was connected to antisemitism. Apart from his dalliances with white supremacists, he has posted a meme of person in a gas chamber, tweeted a neo-Nazi slogan, and is a regular companion of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. Banned from an ever-increasing number of social media sites, Gionet has turned to escalating antics to draw in viewers. The attack on the Scottsdale bouncer was just the culmination of a string of incidents where he antagonized people before deploying pepper spray, a pattern that emerged after his harassment of service employees saw him banned from YouTube over the summer.

Following the invasion of the Capitol, Gionet's preferred streaming service, DLive, came under scrutiny for allowing him to profit. An Elon University professor told extremist-watchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center that Gionet made a minimum of $222 in tips during the insurrection and presumably more in donations. The center reports that Fuentes made as much as $43,000 from the service over just two months last year.

The two have since been suspended from the streaming site and their videos removed.

Gionet's local attorney, Zach Thornley of MayesTelles PLLC, declined Monday to comment on the petition or the menorah incident.

A hearing on Scottsdale prosecutors' motion to revoke Gionet's release is scheduled for Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

If convicted on the assault charge, Gionet faces a maximum of six months imprisonment.
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Erasmus Baxter is a staff writer for Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Erasmus Baxter