Photo by Blaze Media/Twitter

Investigative journalist and Blaze Media correspondent Steve Baker was arrested on Friday for misdeameanor charges relating to his reporting at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Baker was arrested Friday morning before being temporarily released. Baker announced in December that he was expecting the Justice Department to charge him over his reporting and has been expecting charges for nearly two years.

“I thought I was mentally and emotionally prepared for this because I’ve followed too many of these cases to not have been,” Baker told Glenn Beck, Founder of TheBlaze. “I’ve seen too many of these guys — even misdemeanor defendants, even misdemeanor independent journalists — marched before a magistrate in leg chains and the orange jumpsuit, so I thought I was ready for it until they put the leg chains on.”

Baker was put into leg chains, an orange jumpsuit, and put into a cell with a meth dealer. Baker’s attorney, James Lee Bright, said that this is unusual treatment for a misdeameanor defendant and that he has “almost never” seen this type of treatment for a case like this.

According to the criminal complaint, Baker is charged with 1. Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, 2. Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or ground, 3. Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, 4. Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Shortly, after his arrest, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson released 5,000 hours of video footage of the event, where Baker is seen peacefully standing in the corner typing on his phone, and does not show him picketing, parading or being disorderly.

Baker told Beck that he thinks that the DOJ is intentionally overcharging him to try to scare him into taking a quick plea deal.

Baker did admit to potentially committing one crime and that is that he entered the building, as did about 60 other journalists according to Baker’s attorney.

“If that’s a crime, then the crime has to be punished equally,” says Glenn, “so, the New York Times, the Washington Post — every single journalist would have to be charged with that crime, right?”

Bakers attorney said that only “six to seven have been charged … all of those have been right of center media.”

“They didn’t have to go this route,” Baker told Blaze News last week. “We have been told that my charges are only misdemeanors. And my attorneys have been assured that this will be an ‘in and out’ affair with ‘no intention’ to detain me. But rather than issuing a simple order to appear, they went the ‘arrest warrant’ route.”

Beck expressed his support for Baker and assured Baker that he stands by him.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s a reporter with Blaze News whom they are arresting,” Beck wrote in an op-ed for The Blaze. “There are lots of people who have reported on January 6. Why is the Blaze News reporter the one they put in cuffs? Is it because we are on to something? Are we getting closer to the truth of what happened that day? Are the elites afraid that their house of cards will come tumbling down?”

“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 wrote.

“This is the type of journalist America needs right now. This is the kind of man America needs right now. And this is why your support of Blaze Media is so important to us. You make Steve Baker’s work possible, and as long as you enable us, we will never compromise on the truth, we will not be deterred by the powers who want to silence us, and most of all, we will not back down. I stand with Steve Baker,” Beck concluded.

Journalist Jonathan Turley noted that Baker’s work on January 6th was used by the The New York Times and HBO and that it is common for journalists to accompany protestors while stories are unfolding.

“Would the government have charged an NPR reporter who accompanied Black Lives Matter rioters in the police station they occupied in Seattle,” Turley wrote. If not, then what exactly is the dividing line between crime and advocacy journalism? Is it an ideological line?”

Turley noted that out of at least 126 journalists that were arrested or detained in 2020 during the Black Lives Matter riots, almost all of the charges were later dropped, with the exception being Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri. Sahouri was acquitted after journalists rushed to her defense.

“We are well down the road to an enormously over-expansive interpretation of the First Amendment allowing criminal actions in the name of journalism,” Turley wrote.

Florida Governor and former Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis tweeted on Tuesday “Left-of-center journalists haven’t been charged but they go after Steve Baker, who reports from a perspective critical of the administrative state. The charges — and the draconian treatment over alleged misdemeanor offenses — are textbook examples of weaponized justice wielded against a regime critic.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy tweeted “Those who pontificate about “threats to our democracy” should take a hard look at the threats to freedom of the press.”

So far very few journalists have spoken out about the arrest of Steve Baker.

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