‘Absolute Chilling Effect’: Conservative Reporter Says FBI Plans To Arrest Him Over Jan 6 Stories

[Screenshot/The Blaze]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The Blaze investigative reporter Steve Baker said Tuesday the FBI plans to arrest him following his reporting on the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Baker said he received a signed arrest warrant ordering him to self-surrender Friday to a Dallas courthouse wearing “shorts and sandals” after his attorney received “threats” from the FBI and the DOJ on Nov. 21, 2023, and Dec. 23, 2023, respectively.

The prosecutor informed my attorney that I am to arrive at the @FBI field office wearing ‘shorts and sandals,'” Baker said. “They didn’t have to go this route, as we’ve been told that my charges are non-violent misdemeanors. My attorneys have also been assured by the gov. that this will be an ‘in and out’ affair and that they have ‘no intention’ of detaining me. But, rather than issuing a simple order to appear, they seem to feel the need to give me a dose of the personal humiliation treatment.”

His attorney previously informed him he is likely to be charged with “interstate racketeering and property damage,” according to an Oct. 2, 2023, piece Baker wrote on the matter. (RELATED: ‘Glean Information About…The Capitol’: Politico Reporter Argues Against Wide Release Of Jan. 6 Footage)

At the time of his notification, he did not know the charges being brought against him, according to The Blaze. His attorney, James Lee Bright, said the non-disclosure is a “really unusual” move and that the federal government going after “legitimate functioning journalists” present at the riot has “an absolute chilling effect.”

Baker wrote in his Oct. 2 piece that he was present at the Capitol riot working as an independent journalist before he joined The Blaze. He expected to be contacted by the FBI despite claims that he did not commit any destruction or election interference. He said he did not enter the Capitol building until the Senate and House of Representatives had been evacuated.

“They didn’t have to go this route,” Baker told The Blaze in a Tuesday statement. “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.”

“I’m not a depressive person, but I’m not happy about this,” Baker continued. “I have prayed, ‘Lord, let this cup pass from me,’ but apparently it’s not going to.” However, he also said it will be a “relief” to get this first step over with.

Blaze Media editor-in-chief Matthew Peterson called this move “outrageous,” as Baker was present at the riot as an “independent journalist,” according to The Blaze.

“He’s had unknown charges hanging over his head for years, but after we started working with him the government sprang back into action. There is no need to put him in a jumpsuit or handcuffs except as a humiliation ritual or a show, which seems to be exactly what they are planning on doing on Friday,” Peterson said.

“We will be showing the world footage from January 6 that shows Steve was clearly present that day as an independent journalist. Government retaliation such as this against journalists contradicts the very idea of a free press, the purpose of our form of government, and what once was the American way of life,” Peterson added.

In January, attorneys representing Baker told The Blaze that the Justice Department could be organizing a “retaliation” against him over breaking two “greatly embarrassing” stories about the DOJ.

“Steve’s actions on January 6 have been known to the Department of Justice for 3 years,” Baker’s attorneys wrote in a January news release. “But it is only now — after Steve has broken two major stories greatly embarrassing to the DOJ — that he is possibly being targeted for arrest and possibly felony prosecution. Any action taken to put him in handcuffs, hold him in custody, and have him transported to court by federal law enforcement will be nothing other than retaliation for his recent reporting.”

Baker said he is not the only one being accused of wrongdoing at the riot, pointing to the case of charging documents against Ken Harrelson which allegedly contained “exaggerations and false accusations” about his conduct on January 6, according to another piece he wrote about the matter.