FBI Allegedly Plans to Arrest Blaze Investigative Reporter Over Capitol Riot Reporting

Steve Baker, an investigative reporter with The Blaze, revealed on Tuesday that he has been informed of an impending arrest by the FBI in connection to his reporting on the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. According to Baker, he received a signed arrest warrant instructing him to self-surrender to a Dallas courthouse on Friday, wearing “shorts and sandals.”

Baker claims that the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued threats to his attorney on November 21, 2023, and December 23, 2023, respectively. The FBI allegedly insisted that Baker appear at their field office in casual attire for what Baker describes as non-violent misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol riot. Despite assurances from the government that it will be a brief affair without detention, Baker views the arrest warrant as a form of personal humiliation.

His attorney, James Lee Bright, had previously indicated that Baker might face charges of “interstate racketeering and property damage.” The lack of disclosure about the charges has been deemed “really unusual,” raising concerns about the federal government’s pursuit of journalists who were present at the Capitol riot, which Bright describes as having “an absolute chilling effect.”

Baker, who had been an independent journalist before joining The Blaze, was present at the Capitol riot and expected to be contacted by the FBI. In an October 2, 2023, piece, Baker asserted that he committed no acts of destruction or election interference, entering the Capitol building only after the Senate and House of Representatives had been evacuated.

Expressing his displeasure with the situation, Baker remarked, “I have prayed, ‘Lord, let this cup pass from me,’ but apparently it’s not going to.” However, he also acknowledged a sense of relief in getting the initial step over with. The editor-in-chief of Blaze Media, Matthew Peterson, condemned the move as “outrageous,” emphasizing that Baker was an independent journalist present at the riot.

Peterson accused the government of planning a show of humiliation by opting for an arrest warrant, and he pledged to showcase footage from January 6 to demonstrate Baker’s role as an independent journalist. In January, Baker’s attorneys suggested that the Justice Department’s potential actions against him could be viewed as “retaliation” for his reporting, which included two stories embarrassing to the DOJ.

Baker highlighted that he is not the only one facing accusations related to the riot, referencing the case of Ken Harrelson, where charging documents allegedly contained “exaggerations and false accusations” about his conduct on January 6.

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