Anthime “Tim” Gionet, a right-wing internet troll also known as “Baked Alaska,” was set this Wednesday to plead guilty to one of the lowest-level charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 — parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol, which is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in prison.
But when US District Judge Emmet Sullivan asked Gionet, “Why do you wish to plead guilty?” Gionet replied that he wanted to go to trial but his lawyers advised him to accept a plea deal because the prosecutor was going to hit him with felony charges if he didn’t. “I believe I’m innocent,” Gionet said.
“Well fine,” Sullivan told Gionet, “Pick a trial date.”
From BuzzFeed News:
Sullivan set Gionet’s trial for March 7, 2023. Later in the hearing, the prosecutor said that they’d agreed to keep the original misdemeanor plea offer open for another 60 days, giving Gionet another chance to plead guilty to the lower stakes offense. The delay not only leaves Gionet’s fate unsettled, but means that he’ll continue to be on pretrial release and under court supervision. He got in trouble last year for filmed encounters with police that Gionet described as a “prank”; a judge warned that the incident seemed to skirt the line of violating his release conditions.
Gionet and his lawyers spoke privately for roughly 30 minutes. Near the end, his lawyers also had a private meeting with Aloi. Aloi then announced to the judge that the government had agreed to keep the misdemeanor plea offer open for another 60 days. Gionet is due back before Sullivan on July 22 for an update on whether he’ll go forward with that agreement or proceed to trial.
Read the full report over at BuzzFeed News.