DOJ To Charge Blaze Journalist Steve Baker Over Jan. 6

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Dec 16, 2023 - 10:20 PM

Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Journalist Steve Baker of Blaze Media, who captured some of the most dramatic news footage at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has been ordered to surrender to federal authorities on Dec. 19 on as-yet-unknown charges.

Paramedics from the D.C. Fire and EMS Department perform CPR on protester Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police near the Speaker's Lobby on Jan. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of Steve Baker)

Mr. Baker, whose Jan. 6 videos and photos have appeared on HBO and the BBC, as well as in The New York Times and The Epoch Times, told his followers on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his North Carolina attorney notified him on Dec. 14 that he would be arrested.

He said in March that he had been warned that his aggressive Jan. 6 coverage had gotten noticed at the Department of Justice, "and they're not happy about it at all."

At the time, he said he had been questioned by the FBI for two hours.

"Like many other reporters and photojournalists—both independents and those working directly for established media companies—I followed the story that day where it went," he wrote in an opinion article in The Blaze on Oct. 2.

Mr. Baker wrote that he "did no violence or property destruction on January 6" and that he "certainly did not interfere with the election certification."

However, his outspokenness that day was on full display. Following reports that someone had been shot outside the Speaker’s Lobby and that the building was on high alert, he challenged two officers who had drawn their service weapons and were shouting at unarmed protesters.

Are you going to use that on us?” Baker asked one U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer who charged at the group. “None of us have a gun. We’ve got cameras.”

As the officer explained why the dozen or so law enforcement officials in the lobby had weapons ready, Mr. Baker intoned dryly, “The only shots fired have been fired by you guys.”

Baker isn't the only independent journalist to have faced DOJ prosecution; others include J.D. Rivera, Sam Montoya, Stephen Horn, Will Pope, and Shawn Witzemann.

The most obvious characteristic of that list is that none of those that worked for major media, left-wing sources, have been prosecuted,” Mr. Baker previously told The Epoch Times. “But you can't say the same on the other side of the ledger.”

Mr. Baker was on Capitol Hill, meeting with House lawmakers regarding his Jan. 6 investigations, when he received word about the impending charges.

"This is outrageous retaliation on the part of the federal government against a journalist," Matthew Peterson, editor-in-chief of The Blaze, wrote on X. "[Mr. Baker] was an independent journalist on J6; he's now investigating the events of that day for @theblaze. We must all rally and end this totalitarian madness."

Attorney Brad Geyer, who will represent Mr. Baker in his criminal case, vowed to "unearth all the buried bodies" as part of "a vigorous defense."

A munition detonates at protesters' feet on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of Steve Baker)

"Steve Baker's involvement in the OathKeepers 1 trial, his blogging, and subsequent investigation exposed crucial false testimony from key government witnesses," Mr. Geyer said in a statement to The Epoch Times. "Their false and implausible testimony played a pivotal role in wrongfully convicting the Oath Keepers."

Mr. Baker in October published a story at Blaze Media that alleged that Capitol Police CCTV security video shows that USCP Special Agent David Lazarus couldn't have witnessed an alleged confrontation between a group of the quasi-militia Oath Keepers and USCP officer Harry Dunn because Mr. Lazarus was nowhere near the scene at the time.

In January 2021, Mr. Lazarus was a member of the dignitary protection detail for then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). On the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, he said he assisted with the evacuation of senators and staff from the Senate Chamber through the tunnels and subways leading to nearby office buildings.

The alleged confrontation was key evidence in the trial because it contradicted accounts from Oath Keepers that they stood in front of officer Dunn as a buffer to protect him from an angry crowd of protesters and prevent what they feared could lead to a shooting.

The Epoch Times has previously reached out to Capitol Police for comment on the testimony by officer Dunn and Special Agent Lazarus but didn't receive a reply.