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'Bob's Burgers' actor charged for alleged role in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

An actor who the public helped identify as a Jan. 6 rioter will now face four charges, including felony obstruction.
'Bob's Burgers' actor charged for alleged role in Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 20:28:52-04

An actor known for his comedic TV and film roles was arrested Wednesday for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

Jay Johnston, who has appeared in shows "Bob's Burgers" and "Arrested Development," now faces four charges from the Department of Justice and was expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday after his arrest in Los Angeles.

The FBI affidavit notes law enforcement "identified an individual who pushed against police and aided other rioters near an entrance to the U.S. Capitol known as 'the tunnel.'" That individual was later identified as the 54-year-old actor.

The document also displays multiple photos of Johnston amid the riot, including when he stole a police shield and shared it with others. He was pictured wearing a camouflage neck gaiter and dark jacket when he and others pushed against police in the Lower West Terrace tunnel.

In March 2021, the FBI posted photos of the then-unknown man and asked for the public's help in identifying him. That led multiple people to say it was Johnston, including his attorney and three of his current or former associates.

One associate said Johnston had acknowledged participating in the riot, saying in a text provided to the FBI, "The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn't. Though it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic."

The FBI also noted airline records showed Johnston flew to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 4 and returned to Los Angeles on Jan. 7.

Johnston's career kicked off as a writer and actor in the '90s series "Mr. Show with Bob and David." He went on to appear in multiple animated Adult Swim series and in shows like "Arrested Development," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "Mr. Pickles" and the film "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

He was also known for voicing the character of Jimmy Pesto in "Bob's Burgers." The Daily Beast reported he lost the role in Dec. 2021 as a result of his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 riot.

More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes for playing a part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Johnston's charges, like those of many other rioters, include felony obstruction of officers during a civil disorder and three misdemeanors: entering or remaining in a restricted building, engaging in disorderly conduct with intent to disrupt government business and obstructing passage through Capitol grounds or buildings.

SEE MORE: Oath Keeper and Army vet gets 8.5 years in prison for storming Capitol


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