An investigative journalist with a keen insight into the nature of the politicized lawfare afoot in Washington has found himself an apparent target of the Biden Department of Justice. He is not backing down, however.
Steve Baker of Raleigh, North Carolina, has instead joined Blaze Media, affording him a force multiplier in his work to present facts and troubling possibilities some powerful actors may want kept quiet.
This move comes at a critical stage both in his investigation and in the DOJ's seeming quest to kneecap him over his work related to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol protest.
Background: Eve vs. Steve
Steve Baker , who formerly went by the moniker "the Pragmatic Constitutionalist" online, is an independent journalist and professional musician who documented the Jan. 6 protest around and inside the U.S. Capitol, capturing much of it on film — including the extraction of slain veteran Ashli Babbit's body through the south door by first responders.
His footage has been used by various media outlets, including various CBS affiliates and HBO.
Baker told TheBlaze that his attorney received an email from Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Nov. 17, 2021, stating, "Your client will be charged within the week."
"It was just a notification after the FBI's interview with me, which had taken place a month earlier, that they were in fact going to bring charges against me," said Baker. "Also included in that email were the two statutes under which they had intended to charge me at the time."
The journalist indicated that the first federal charge pertained to the commission of property damage in a federal building and the second concerned interstate racketeering .
Baker said AUSA Eve "didn't provide any explanation for [the racketeering charge], that being a felony charge which carries up to a 20-year sentence," but he had gathered from the FBI's previous interest in his licensing of Jan. 6 footage that the small profits from his journalistic videography were likely at issue.
After Eve's chilling email, Baker and his attorney sent a press release to roughly 200 different media agencies on Monday morning of Thanksgiving week 2021, as part of what he called a "press offensive."
The release noted that Baker was a journalist whose videos had been used by the New York Times, Newsmax, and various other media outlets; was not affiliated with any political party; participated in no acts of violence; and had informed his readers ahead of time that he had gone to D.C. to cover the rally.
Struck by the possibility that the DOJ was attempting to intimidate a journalist, some lawmakers and law minders reached out to Baker asking how they could help.
Baker said Eve was less than enthused by his effective maneuver.
By 1:00 p.m. the same day, "AUSA Anita Eve sent a copy of that press release to my attorney — so they were obviously monitoring my communications, or somebody forwarded it to her, probably the FBI — and all she said in that email to my attorney was, 'We're not happy about this,'" Baker recalled.
In the brief exchange that ensued between Baker's Raleigh attorney and the DOJ, Eve reportedly expressed surprise at the prospect that the journalist might forgo a quick plea deal on a more minor charge and tangle instead with the government in court.
"When she said to my attorney, 'Your client is not going to trial with this,' he responded with something to the effect of, 'Do you read the s*** he writes?'" Baker said.
The Raleigh journalist secured a D.C. attorney the next day, who contacted Eve after Thanksgiving, first by email, then by phone. She didn't respond on either occasion or again for another 20 months, said Baker. The FBI reportedly apparently didn't bother reaching out either during that period.
Finally, on Aug. 4, 2023, near the culmination of both his talks with Blaze Media and his work on his forthcoming bombshell report, he received word from the feds.
Baker told TheBlaze that his Raleigh attorney received a service of process notice Friday concerning a grand jury subpoena for his Jan. 6 videos.
He felt a "momentary sense of relief" upon learning the subpoena was only for his footage. However, upon receiving the actual subpoena Monday morning and glimpsing that Anita Eve was the signatory, Baker concluded, "Oh good grief, this has gotta be about me."
Baker's attorneys agreed that the subpoena was directly related to his case and an investigation into him.
"Had they subpoenaed me directly, that's something you can't do. The subject of an investigation is never subpoenaed before the grand jury itself, but they can subpoena my work," he said.
Baker suggested that even more troubling is that "there's never a grand jury investigation into misdemeanor charges, so they're obviously trying to construct a felony indictment against me."
At this stage, the Raleigh journalist figures "it's either just pure intimidation ... or they're trying to put together some felony charges."
As the likelihood of the racketeering charge sticking is not particularly strong, Baker suggested prosecutors might try to hit him with an obstruction charge – "something they have been more aggressive with in the last year that they did not do in the first two years [of Jan. 6 protester prosecutions] because they were getting lots of complaints from the left ... that these Jan. 6 defendants were not getting longer sentences."
Accordingly, the DOJ may want his footage to shake loose a possible inconsistency with his previous conversations with investigators.
Baker further noted that his original interview with the FBI was conducted on the condition that nothing that he said therein could be used against him in court should prosecutors ultimately decide to file charges — unless he perjured himself. Accordingly, even a perceived half-truth might serve the DOJ as a means to levy a process crime charge.
Now, with two additional years' worth of Baker's reportage and social media posts on file, he reckons that "they're going to be looking for some sort of effort I've made to hide evidence. ... I've just seen too many of these things in the courtroom to not know what they're up to."
Baker and Beck
In an exclusive Aug. 9 interview with nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck, Baker told the Blaze Media co-founder that his seeming antagonist at the DOJ, AUSA Eve, "happens to be the exact same U.S. attorney who ordered the SWAT raid on the Pennsylvania abortion clinic protester after his attorneys had cooperated for so many months with them, and then she would not return their emails, return their calls, and then just one day ... they suddenly showed up to his door with the red dots on his chest."
Baker was referencing the Sept. 23, 2022, FBI raid of pro-life activist and Catholic author Mark Houck, where an estimated 25-30 agents stormed his house with guns drawn while his wife and seven children screamed inside.
The Biden Department of Justice charged Houck with a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, after he allegedly got into an altercation outside a Planned Parenthood with a man who had been harassing his young son. The 48-year-old was found not guilty of FACE charges in January.
Baker further told TheBlaze that in the period leading up to the raid, Houck's "attorney was doing everything in their power to cooperate. In fact, if you go back and review that case, they had been sending messages, phone calls, emails, trying to reach out to Anita Eve for months, trying to let them know that ... Houck would voluntarily self-present whenever the time was right."
It was not until hours after Houck had been swatted in front of his toddlers that Eve bothered to respond, indicating that he had been arrested, suggested Baker.
Eve similarly ignored messages from Baker's attorneys from 20 months, leaving him in "limbo not knowing what my future is and knowing that there is a five-year statute of limitation on the Jan. 6 event and whatever crimes were committed that day. ... That's just unconscionable. That should not happen to a U.S. citizen, journalist or not," he said.
In light of Eve's track record, Beck asked Baker, "So how do you feel? I mean, it's the same person, it's the same DOJ, the same kind of scenario. I mean, are you married? You have kids? Have you talked about somebody coming to the front door and trying to pound it down with a SWAT team?"
Baker answered he has two grown children who are "well aware" of his activities and have been forewarned "that this day was potentially coming."
"They're proud of me," said Baker. "They're proud of the work that I do and they're fully supportive of me."
While not worried about how his children might respond to how his story with the DOJ might end, he noted he does have a dog with a "loud mouth," which might draw the ire of would-be raiders.
Coincidence pileups ahead of the Blaze blockbuster
Baker stressed to TheBlaze that the "timing of this is highly suspicious," referencing the DOJ's inauspicious subpoena just days before he went public with his new relationship with Blaze Media and not long before the publication of his blockbuster report related to Jan. 6.
"Is it a coincidence? I find that very hard to believe, as I have two or three major stories coming to final fruition here and getting close to be able to publish, particularly this one big one," said Baker.
Working under the presumption that the FBI and DOJ are "listening, watching, reading everything" that he does, Baker reckons those who will be implicated in the damning revelations may know as much and be keen to hamstring him at every turn.
"As these pieces are coming to fruition ... suddenly [the DOJ and FBI] emerge 20 months later," he said. "They have to know I'm close."
In addition to the DOJ's possible awareness that he's close, Baker noted officials may also be cognizant that he's about to have the weight of Blaze Media behind him, including its audience, which is "infinitely larger" than the one he has connected with in the past.
Baker said he is excited for the opportunity to have the work he spent years on to have "a wider viewership, listenership, readership, and an opportunity for Americans to see what the real weaponization of our federal agencies are against them."
In light of the ordeals he and others have been put through, Baker told TheBlaze, "We are on the precipice of losing all of [our freedoms]. We are in extreme peril right now."
Watch Baker's full interview with Glenn Beck now:
COINCIDENCE? Investigative journalist SUBPOENAED while preparing BOMBSHELL January 6 report youtu.be
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here !