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Pic: Actor facing 5 years in prison over Jan 6

A gavel rests on a judge bench. (The Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
July 09, 2024

Actor Jay Johnston is facing up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony over his involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

According to The Associated Press, the 55-year-old actor who starred in the “Bob’s Burgers” television series and the “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” movie, pleaded guilty on Monday to a felony civil disorder charge stemming from his interaction with police officers on Capitol Hill.

The Daily Beast previously reported that Johnston was “banned” from the “Bob’s Burgers” animated television show in 2021. Prior to his involvement in January 6, Johnston was the voice actor behind the character Jimmy Pesto.

The Associated Press reported that Johnston could face up to five years in prison as a result of his guilty plea. Currently, the actor is awaiting his October 7 sentencing hearing with U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols. While the recommended sentencing guidelines for Johnston include a prison sentence of eight to 14 months, The Associated Press reported that Nichols is not bound by the sentencing term included in the actor’s plea agreement with prosecutors.

According to The Associated Press, Johnston was arrested last June and joins over 1,400 other individuals who have been charged for their involvement for the Capitol Hill protest on January 6. An FBI agent’s affidavit claimed Johnston was recorded pushing against police officers and aiding protesters who attempted to get past police officers guarding an entrance on the Lower West Terrace.

READ MORE: Video: FBI tracking anyone in DC on Jan 6, fmr. rep warns

The FBI agent’s affidavit said Johnston raised a stolen police shield above his head and passed it to other protesters. The affidavit added that Johnston “was close to the entrance to the tunnel, turned back and signaled for other rioters to come towards the entrance.”

The Associated Press reported that a court filing shows Johnston used his cellphone to record protesters breaking through barricades and advancing against police officers.

Johnston was identified as a suspect in the storming of the U.S. Capitol by three current or former associates. The FBI revealed that the three associates provided federal investigators with a text message from Johnston in which he acknowledged being at the Capitol on January 6.

“The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn’t,” Johnston reportedly wrote. “Thought it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic.”

A picture shared on X, formerly Twitter, by WFLA News appears to show Johnston in a crowd of protesters confronting Capitol Police.