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Blaze Media releases never-before-seen video of Steve Baker in US Capitol on Jan. 6; Baker, others blast charges against him
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Blaze Media releases never-before-seen video of Steve Baker in US Capitol on Jan. 6; Baker, others blast charges against him

In the wake of the arrest Friday of Blaze News investigative journalist Steve Baker in connection with his reporting on Jan. 6, 2021, Blaze Media on Wednesday released never-before-seen video showing Baker's movements in and around the U.S. Capitol that day, which appears to stand in stark contrast to the narrative the federal government is floating about him.

The 47-minute video includes Baker's cellphone camera documentation of what went on inside the Capitol building alongside newly released footage from the Capitol's CCTV cameras that BlazeTV obtained primarily through the efforts of Republican U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia. Loudermilk and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson (La.) have made providing access to Jan. 6 videos a priority.

Here's the unfiltered video showing Baker on Jan. 6 just before he entered the Capitol, his movements inside the building, and after he left it. Content warning: Language:

Steve Baker Inside the Capitol on January 6youtu.be

With this new video as a backdrop, Baker and others are blasting his federal misdemeanor charges stemming from his independent journalistic activities on Jan. 6, before he joined Blaze News, as well as the related "statement of facts" from the FBI.

The four nonviolent charges against Baker are: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.

Image source: Blaze News

Baker told Blaze News in blistering fashion Tuesday night that the federal government needs "to establish a narrative needed to justify the charges," and in the end that essentially amounts to "damn freedom of speech, thought, opinion, and expression."

Blaze Media editor in chief Matthew Peterson — on the heels of the release of the video of Baker in and around the Capitol — asked in a Wednesday op-ed, "Is journalism still legal in America?"

"He is most certainly guilty of committing journalism, an act that until last week was protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution," Peterson wrote. "In short, Steve Baker did not riot. He reported. He exercised his First Amendment rights."

What's more, the criminal complaint against Baker and statement of facts are dated Feb. 21. Strangely, both documents were withheld from Baker and his legal team until after he turned himself in to the FBI in Dallas on Friday. Why? Apparently because the powers that be were concerned Baker would reveal the charges against him on social media.

What does the FBI's 'statement of facts' say?

Among the main points found in the FBI's 13-page statement of facts is a section highlighting Baker's commentary in a post-Jan. 6 video in which he notes being inside then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

Was he violent or destructive? As usual, no. Instead the FBI calls out Baker's speech as he recollects the moment: "The only thing I regret is that I didn't like steal their computers because God knows what I could've found on their computers if I'd done that. But by the time I got into Pelosi's office, unfortunately there was some damage done."

Believe it or not, the FBI adds that Baker "expressed approval of the vandalization he claimed to have witnessed in Pelosi’s office" and quotes him as saying, "They got Pelosi's office, and you know, it couldn't happen to a better deserving bitch."

The FBI also says Baker recorded himself saying, “Look out your windows, bitches, look what’s coming" as he approached the Capitol just after 1 p.m. Again, more speech crime. The agency also says Baker "ignored instructions to move off" steps, according to body-worn camera footage.

The FBI notes that Baker "entered the United States Capitol through the broken Senate Wing Door" at approximately 2:19 p.m.

Notice Baker not engaging in a high five with a waiting protester at the entrance — Baker is inside the red circle in the image below holding aloft his cellphone camera. Instead he continues to document what was going down:

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The FBI also claims that at one point "officers attempted to keep Baker on the other side of a door jamb, but instead of heeding their instructions Baker antagonized them. Baker repeatedly asked, 'Are you going to use that [gun] on us?!' Baker eventually moved past these officers and took stairs down to the first floor. The remaining members of this crowd are pushed back down toward the House Chamber entrance."

Baker's response to Blaze News regarding the aforementioned FBI claim? "The only time I said a word inside the Capitol was when all the police officers near the House chamber suddenly drew their weapons. None of us near me knew that someone had just been shot. I hadn’t seen drawn weapons all day, then suddenly nearly every cop had them drawn and at high-ready," he said. "I simply wanted to know if we were about to get shot. ... Asking a question about your own potential life-or-death jeopardy is hardly abusive language."

The FBI also says Baker "moved toward the Hall of Columns where he was then led out of the Capitol by an officer with the United States Capitol Police." The agency said in its statement of facts that Baker left the building at approximately 2:56 p.m. and that he was "inside the building for approximately 37 minutes."

The FBI then cites an interview between Baker and WUSA-TV in which he stated, “Yeah I was quite excited to see this going on,” and, “Do I approve of what happened today? I approve 100%.” Again, more wrong-speech.

How else did Baker respond?

Baker had a lot more to say to Blaze News in regard to the criminal complaint against him and the FBI's statement of facts.

"As to the charge of 'entering a restricted space,' I, along with approximately 60 other journalists of all types, did exactly that," Baker said. "The other three charges are just typical Department of Justice theater of the absurd. It is the MO of the DOJ — not just in January 6 cases — to significantly overcharge the accused in order to frighten them into a quick plea deal. In the case of the low-level J6 defendants, they all get these same four misdemeanors, whether they opened their mouths or not, and whether or not they ‘paraded and picketed' — which has a very specific meaning."

Baker added to Blaze News: "I used no loud or abusive language, and I certainly didn’t picket or parade. I had no flags or signs and wore no MAGA paraphernalia or any political messaging."

More from Baker's response to Blaze News:

As to the contents of the Statement of Facts, that is the FBI/DOJ’s attempt to establish a narrative needed to justify the charges. And when they don’t have evidence of the actions, deeds, or crimes they are accusing someone of, they look for speech and words by which they can establish "state of mind" or "intent." In my case, they had to use statements made before I arrived at the Capitol and after I left. All are made outside of the so-called restricted area. All are presented out of context. Ignoring the fact that once on the property and documenting the developing story, my personal opinions — indeed all thoughts about what I witnessed and experienced — were kept to myself while professionally doing my job while following that story where the story went. (As shown in our video presentation.) But for J6 defendants ... damn freedom of speech, thought, opinion, and expression. Like so many of these J6 cases, it is those "thought crimes" the DOJ puts in front of the prejudicial juries — no matter the basic tenet of classical liberalism, which should be the golden rule of our judiciary: "No victim, no crime."

How did Baker's attorney respond?

Baker's attorney William L. Shipley — who penned a Monday op-ed telling federal prosecutors "game on" — offered Blaze News the following response to the criminal complaint against Baker and the FBI's statement of facts.

"As I have seen in many other January 6 cases, the government has presented still images from longer videos and segments from longer written or audio recording of events that either lack context or are simply taken out of context. I know what some of the longer versions of this evidence actually shows, and those longer versions undermine the one-sided conclusions drawn by the special agent in the Affidavit. And that is all this document represents — the opinions of a single FBI agent who signed it," Shipley stated Wednesday.

He added, "In 32 years doing federal criminal trial work as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I've seen these kinds of conclusions turn out to be incorrect many many times. I expect that will be the outcome here."

'The statement of facts is so weak'

Kyle Seraphin — a former FBI special agent and U.S. Air Force veteran — wrote about Baker's arrest in a Monday op-ed, saying that it "disgraces the FBI." But Seraphin on Wednesday also offered Blaze News additional perspective regarding the government's criminal complaint and statement of facts.

"Like every individual arrested for January 6/Capitol riot-related charges, Steve Baker was arrested on a criminal complaint. Using a complaint is a dramatic departure from any normal process for the FBI. Complaints are used for exigent circumstances, and as such, the FBI will rarely if ever file a criminal complaint to bring a subject into custody. Because the FBI engages in long-term investigations, like the Capitol riot case, there is more than enough time for them to take their case to a grand jury and receive an indictment. This means that the process involves citizens who are outside of the justice system to evaluate if there is 'probable cause to believe' the individual was involved in a federal crime. The complaint only involves a federal magistrate judge and the affiant — in this case — an FBI agent," Seraphin wrote.

He added, "Steve's complaint is like all of the complaints I have seen — it starts with a significant 'background' section which covers events of the day that have nothing to do with any 'allegation or information' regarding a federal crime Steve Baker is alleged to have committed. In Steve's case, there is also a significant amount of color commentary about his First Amendment-protected speech that did not happen during a time when he is alleged to have committed a crime."

Seraphin also stated that "the statement of facts is so weak, Agent [Craig] Noyes and the magistrate judge who signed this complaint should be embarrassed they participated in this punishment theater of a journalist. The document itself is a microcosm of just how far the FBI has fallen from the once most respected law enforcement agency in America. They are now doing political hit jobs on perceived opponents of the Biden administration."

Jonathan Turley — the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School — penned an op-ed for The Hill the day after Baker's arrest calling out the charges and the content of the FBI's statement of facts against Baker.

"The Justice Department leaves little doubt why they pursued Baker. The criminal complaint and an FBI agent’s affidavit repeatedly reference Baker’s support for those who stormed the Capitol," Turley wrote. "Entering through a broken door like hundreds of others, he walked past Capitol police, who stood by and even directed some protesters. Baker was in the building for only approximately 37 minutes before police led him out."

What's the background?

Baker told Blaze News the FBI instructed him to self-surrender on Friday morning, and Baker did just that.

While Baker said the agency told him to show up at the Dallas field office in "shorts and sandals" — which he said typically means authorities want to make it easier to prep an individual for a "humiliation" perp-walk routine — Baker, dignified as ever, arrived in a suit and tie.

Later he was placed in handcuffs, walked by a pair of agents to a vehicle, and transported to a courthouse.

Blaze Media editor in chief Matthew Peterson — who accompanied Baker to the FBI field office — posted the following reaction: "Tough to watch. Totally unnecessary. There was no reason to take him into custody and have U.S. marshals transport him to the courthouse. We expect and hope to see him on the other side of this in a few hours."

BlazeTV contributor Jill Savage noted Friday that she exited the courtroom with Baker, who "was able to wear his dress clothes but had shackles on his wrists and ankles. He is expected to be released today. His next hearing is set in DC for March 14th." Soon after, Baker was released.

Glenn Beck, co-founder of Blaze Media, wrote in a Friday morning op-ed that Baker's First Amendment battle is ours, too: "When the United States government can come after individuals, that's when you know our republic is crumbling. I've always said that if they can go after Donald Trump, they will go after people like you and me. And now they are. But Steve Baker is not deterred, and neither are we."

Beck on Thursday asked Baker how he was holding up. Here's how Baker responded:

Beck interviewed Baker again after his release, and Baker said of his arrest, "I thought I was ready for it until they put the leg chains on." He added to Beck that he was placed “in a cage with a meth dealer" and had his hearing on the same day as a “felony defendant" who actually wasn't “guarded by U.S. Marshals with leg chains on.”

Baker announced in December that the FBI said the Justice Department would be charging him for his Jan. 6 reporting — but two days later, he noted that the FBI said his self-surrender was postponed until after Christmas.

It was a waiting game ever since.

Attorneys representing Baker in January told Blaze News that the Justice Department might be orchestrating a "retaliation" against Baker over his Jan. 6 reporting.

"Steve’s actions on January 6 have been known to the Department of Justice for 3 years," Baker's attorneys said in a January news release. "But it is only now — after Steve has broken two major stories greatly embarrassing to the DOJ — that he is possibly being targeted for arrest and possibly felony prosecution. Any action taken to put him in handcuffs, hold him in custody, and have him transported to court by federal law enforcement will be nothing other than retaliation for his recent reporting."

Baker discussed his legal saga in a pair of October commentary pieces for Blaze News (here and here), detailing the ins and outs of the federal investigation he's been under following his independent journalistic work on Jan. 6.

What has been uncovered as a result of Baker's investigations?

Baker's first Jan. 6 analysis for Blaze News came last October following countless hours in a House subcommittee office looking at frame after frame of Jan. 6 closed-circuit video — and it had him wondering: Did Capitol Police Special Agent David Lazarus perjure himself in the Oath Keepers trial?

Soon after, the slow pace of getting an unrestricted look at everything recorded on video prompted Blaze Media editor in chief Matthew Peterson's appeal to House Speaker Mike Johnson to release all the videos. On Nov. 17, Johnson did just that.

Baker's investigative efforts also resulted in two additional analyses, both focusing on Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn: "January 6 and the N-word that wasn't" and "Harry Dunn's account of January 6 does not add up. At all."

In December, Baker alleged that he uncovered major irregularities involving Dunn, the Capitol Police, the press, and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland).

In January, Baker asserted that newly released U.S. Capitol closed-circuit TV video clips from Jan. 6 show Lazarus gave false testimony in the Oath Keepers trial.

Proof of Perjury | The Truth About January 6youtu.be

Also in January, Baker and others were asking what the U.S. government has to hide in regard to the pipe bomb found on Jan. 6 at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Baker in February wrote another analysis titled "Capitol Police diverted all CCTV cameras away from DNC pipe bomb investigation — except one."

Baker penned his latest analysis on Feb. 21, asking why Kamala Harris was at the DNC and not the Capitol on Jan. 6.

This story has been updated.

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