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FBI Arrests US Journalist for Being at U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

“The suppression of free speech through intimidation and arrest goes directly against what our Founding Fathers intended.”

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This article originally appeared on The Epoch Times and was republished with permission.

Guest post by Joseph M. Hanneman

Blaze Media journalist Steve Baker was arrested by the FBI and brought to a Texas federal courtroom in handcuffs, a belly chain and foot shackles to face four nonviolent misdemeanor charges for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Accompanied by defense attorneys James Lee Bright and Edward Tarpley Jr., Mr. Baker surrendered at the FBI field office in Dallas at 7 a.m. on March 1.

On the lapel of his suit jacket, he wore a pin with an upside-down FBI badge that forms the logo of “the Suspendables,” a group of FBI whistleblowers that includes Kyle Seraphin, Steve Friend, and Garret O’Boyle. He had been advised by the FBI to show up in shorts and sandals, but instead came dressed in a suit.

After being walked out of the FBI building in handcuffs, Mr. Baker was taken to the The Earle Cabell Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clinton Averitte. He was turned over to U.S. Marshals.

Mr. Baker was charged in a criminal complaint in Washington D.C. with knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without 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.

“I had to march in, in front of everybody with leg chains on,” Mr. Baker told The Epoch Times after his release. “That was not my favorite moment in life. Just a deliberate humiliation. It was something they didn’t have to do.”

When he appeared in court in belly and leg chains, Mr. Baker said there was a non-Jan. 6 felony defendant in the courtroom also scheduled to appear before Judge Averitte. She had no handcuffs or leg restraints.

“Absolutely, stunningly ridiculous on misdemeanor charges,” William Shipley, who heads Mr. Baker’s six-attorney legal team, wrote on X after a video of Baker being led away in handcuffs went viral. The video has more than 7 million views on X. “I could not get an explanation for why it was necessary for Steve to go to the FBI.

“We considered defying that demand and have him simply appear at the courthouse and go to the U.S. Marshal’s Office for processing,” Mr. Shipley said.

Mr. Baker said the 16-page statement of facts produced by the FBI to support his charges contained “a couple” of lies and focused almost exclusively on what he said about things related to Jan. 6 rather than what he did that day.

Read the full story at The Epoch Times.

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