Actor and comedian Jay Johnston has been arrested and charged this week for his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, protests at the U.S. Capitol, court records revealed.
Johnston is best known for his part as Jimmy Pesto on the adult cartoon sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” and for roles on “Mr. Show,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Sarah Silverman Program,” and “Arrested Development.” The 54-year-old actor also played small parts in the movies “Men in Black II” and “Anchorman.”
Johnston was arrested Wednesday and charged with “civil disorder,” “unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds,” and “impeding passage through Capitol grounds,” according to an affidavit from an FBI special agent tasked with investigating January 6.
The agent’s statement alleged that Johnston was captured on public video, closed circuit television, and police body cameras attending the protest at the Capitol.
On March 4, 2021, the FBI posted screenshots asking for assistance identifying the man seen in the videos. Several days later, Johnston’s attorney confirmed he was the individual in the photographs.
The court document stated that he “pushed against police and aided other rioters near an entrance to the U.S. Capitol known as ‘the tunnel.’”
According to the FBI, the actor “participated with other rioters in a group assault on the officers” defending a Capitol entrance.
“Specifically, several members of the crowd joined together to push against police in a concerted movement,” the FBI wrote. “Johnston participated in this concerted movement and pushed along with other rioters for several seconds.”
Johnston also allegedly assisted a protester in washing chemical spray out of their eyes. Additionally, he passed a stolen police riot shield to others in the crowd, according to the affidavit.
The FBI reported that it obtained a text message from Johnston after the protest that stated, “The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn’t. Thought it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic.”
Additionally, United Airlines records indicated that Johnston had reserved flights from Los Angeles, California, to Washington, D.C., on January 4, 2021, and a return flight on January 7, 2021.
In late 2021, Johnston was fired from his voice-acting role on “Bob’s Burgers” because of his alleged participation in the January 6 protests.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol protests.
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