A notorious U.S. Capitol riot suspect and white supremacist livestreamer who goes by the alias “Baked Alaska” faces new charges in Arizona after allegedly defacing a Hanukkah display at the state capitol.
On Nov. 3, prosecutors in Maricopa County charged the right-wing social media personality, whose legal name is Anthime Gionet, with two misdemeanor charges for criminal damage and attempted criminal damage. In the complaint, obtained by The Daily Beast, prosecutors allege that on Dec. 19, 2020, Gionet “did deface” a Hanukkah exhibit. The complaint lists a rabbi and a local Jewish organization as Gionet’s victims.
The charges concern a visit Gionet made to the state capitol last year, which he captured himself on the Baked Alaska livestream. In a video viewed by the Phoenix New Times before it was deleted, Gionet showed himself tearing down a “Happy Hanukkah” sign on a menorah in front of the state capitol.
“No more ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ only ‘Merry Christmas,’” Gionet said in the footage, according to the Phoenix New Times report.
Gionet couldn’t be reached for comment on the charges.
Gionet has promoted antisemitism in the past, publishing a gas chamber meme on social media and hanging out with Holocaust deniers like white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes. In 2017, Gionet marched in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Footage of Gionet crying out for milk at the rally after being maced later went viral.
This isn’t the first time Gionet’s own livestream footage has been used against him in court. On Jan. 15, Gionet was arrested in Texas for his alleged law-breaking during the U.S. Capitol riot and charged with illegally entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Gionet’s livestream video was cited in the indictment against him, which listed in minute detail the various remarks Gionet made supporting the riot as he entered congressional offices.
Earlier this month, Gionet was found guilty of misdemeanor assault for pepper-spraying a security guard at an Arizona bar as the man tried to eject him. Footage from Gionet’s livestream of that incident was also used as evidence at his trial.
That assault case could complicate Gionet’s Hanukkah defacement case, since his pretrial release on the pepper-spray charge required him to obey the law. Instead, according to the complaint, Gionet defaced the religious display a few days after leaving jail.
The defacement charge marks just the latest legal woe for Gionet, who originally shot to some level of internet fame as an Alaska-themed rapper, and then as an employee for BuzzFeed’s video department. But during the 2016 election, Gionet started associating himself with various far-right figures, including working for right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos.
More recently, he’s traveled the country livestreaming his confrontations with strangers in public to his fans, who give him money in order to gain attention on his livestream. These livestreamed exchanges often turn violent, with Gionet pepper-spraying innocent people.
Gionet is scheduled to appear at an arraignment on the defacement charges on Dec. 1. He faces sentencing for the assault charge in January.